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Isabel Abreu

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Isabel Abreu

Isabel Abreu

Name of Host Organization:
City, State: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue area: Immigrant Populations
Sponsors: Merck & Co., Inc., Covington & Burling LLP

The Project

Provide legal advocacy and outreach to low-income immigrant survivors of domestic violence (DV) in underserved outlying Pennsylvania counties.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Lack of stable immigration status is a frequent and often insurmountable barrier to leaving an abusive relationship for many survivors of domestic violence. Pathways to stable immigration status exist that enable survivors to seek out safety and self-sufficiency away from their abusers. However 30% of Pennsylvania’s immigrants live in counties where there are almost no affordable immigration legal service providers. This means that many survivors and their advocates are unaware of these pathways or have no way to secure them.
The Right Person For This Project

Isabel is the right person for the project because:

  • For the past year, she has worked in the geographic area finding community allies
  • She has dedicated the last 8 years to serving immigrants in their legal and social service needs
  • She has extensive experience representing survivors of trauma and empowering them to make decisions which best serve their needs
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Isabel will:

  • Continue representation of open cases
  • Meet with and train local domestic violence service providers on the types of immigration relief available
  • Begin accepting referrals from local service providers
  • Advocate for the cooperation of local law enforcement in the procedural requirements of U Visa cases
  • Connect with other community stakeholders for more advocacy and outreach opportunities