2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Headshot of Alizeh M Sheikh

Alizeh Sheikh

  • Hosted by Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP, UPS
  • Service location Atlanta, Georgia
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2024
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Alizeh (she/her/hers) will advocate on behalf of immigrants detained in Georgia experiencing language access and notice-related due process violations through direct representation and development of pro se materials and practice advisories.

More than 2,000 immigrants detained in Georgia do not speak English and thus face acute language access issues, including having to rely on English-language legal resources to prepare their immigration applications with little to no access to interpretation and translation services. Meanwhile, Southern Poverty Law Center lawyers working in Georgia have encountered dozens of clients whose notices to appear for their removal proceedings had “fake” dates and times. Despite their pervasiveness, these due process issues go largely unaddressed because only about eight non-profit attorneys serve the thousands of people imprisoned in the Georgia ICE detention system.

Through tailored direct representation, Alizeh will identify and pursue strategies for securing relief that she will then use to develop pro se materials to assist immigrants self-advocating for their due process rights.

Alizeh’s past experiences working with diverse immigrant communities in Georgia motivate her commitment to securing relief and release for detained immigrants, so that they can reunite with their families and loved ones.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Alizeh will represent detained immigrants in their immigration proceedings, seeking to terminate or reopen cases based on inadequate interpretation or notice, and arguing for parole or habeas relief when the immigration court’s inability to find an interpreter causes prolonged detention. She will then develop toolkits where pro se immigrants can identify deficient notices and move to terminate their own cases, as well as self-advocate for interpretation and translation services. Alizeh will coordinate her work with grassroots organizing in Georgia and advocacy by a nationwide language access coalition.

As a child of immigrants born and raised in the South, I am honored to join an organization with a strong track record of securing much-needed relief for immigrants in a region where the legal hurdles they face are notoriously high.

Alizeh Sheikh /
2024 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Sponsor: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Michelle Mendez

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Sponsor: DLA Piper

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Timothy Sanders

Host: Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Sponsor: 3M Company, Faegre Baker Daniels