Agatha Schmaedick Tan

  • Hosted by Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center
  • Sponsored by Crowell & Moring Foundation
  • Service location Washington
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations, Trafficking/Slavery
  • Fellowship class year 2012
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Agatha provided direct legal services to domestic and other low-wage Asian immigrant workers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area in matters of employment law and related immigration claims.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project

Despite major growth in the Asian immigrant population in the D.C. area over the past decade, few local organizations are addressing their needs. The stereotype that all Asian immigrants are affluent because they own their own businesses or are highly-paid professionals is wrong. Many Asian immigrants earn low wages in the service industry and as domestic workers—nannies, cooks, maids, and home health aides. Domestic workers have historically been some of the most marginalized workers in our society, excluded from several critical labor standards and often earning sub-minimum wages. Increasingly, migrant domestic workers fall victim to human trafficking syndicates. This population needs education about their rights and culturally competent legal services to remedy their subjugation by unlawful employment practices and human trafficking.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Agatha:
• Provided advice and brief services to 95 clients
• Represented 35 clients in wage-and-hour matters and related immigration claims, which included preparing petitions for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, counseling human trafficking survivors, and securing immigration relief for domestic workers or their children
• Recouped more than $220,000 in back wages for domestic workers
• Created and translated know-your-rights materials and conducted workshops for low-income immigrant workers and community organizations, educating more than 1,000 individuals on employment law, labor trafficking, and immigration law
• Conducted eight know-your-rights presentations to low-wage, immigrant workers and community organizations on topics of employment law, labor trafficking, and immigration law

Where are they now?

Agatha is combating labor trafficking in the U.S. and internationally as a senior adviser at the Polaris Project, the nation’s leading anti-human trafficking organization.

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