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Liz Willis

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Liz Willis

Liz Willis

Name of Host Organization: Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP)
City, State: New York, New York
Issue area: Immigrant Populations
Sponsors: Anonymous

The Project

Provide legal representation to Central American refugee families, and develop policy advocacy, primers, and impact litigation strategies to address common procedural complications in their cases.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
A myriad of complex rules causes thousands of families with strong asylum claims to lose their cases each year without ever getting in front of an immigration judge. Additionally, many families do not have legal representation and are unable to fully present their cases as a result, making them vulnerable to deportation despite the strength of their asylum claims.
The Right Person For This Project

Liz is the right person for the project because:
• As a co-founder of ASAP, Liz has dedicated the past two years to developing strategies for improving representation and access to critical legal information for refugee families.
• Liz has provided legal assistance to more than 100 refugees in three detention centers and 22 states.
• Liz is committed to zealous advocacy and passionate about defending refugee families from wrongful deportations.

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Liz will:
• Take on a series of procedurally challenging cases for refugee families, involving issues such as a lack of notice, the conflation of immigration court and ICE, and/or missed one-year filing deadlines.
• Begin to explore impact litigation strategies to address common procedural difficulties.
• Begin to develop templates and guides for addressing common procedural issues