Allison Ella Herre

  • Hosted by Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. / Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.
  • Service location Dayton, Ohio
  • Law school Creighton University School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Education/Special Education, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2014
  • Program AmeriCorps Fellows Program

The Project

The program is designed to provide legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children in immigration removal proceedings and assistance in identifying and obtaining relief from removal.

Many children are eligible for a youth visa, which requires the child to be placed into the legal custody of a person living in the United States. The Ohio juvenile courts are unfamiliar with the process and, at time, resistant to the overlay of state custody laws with federal immigration laws.

After the trauma of living in the most dangerous countries in the world and coming to a new country, these children need compassion, understanding, and a chance at a better life. This project provides these children an opportunity to experience all three.

Children clients look to their attorneys for more than just legal representation. They need a guiding hand to patiently walk them through the legal process while they face their own internal pain of separation from everything familiar in their home countries.

To date, Allison has met with dozens of children who entered the United States without a parent or guardian. Many of these children experienced violence, maltreatment, hunger, and extreme poverty in their home countries and along the trek to the United States. Allison has seen children as young as 4 years old in front of an immigration judge with no capacity to comprehend the proceedings.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Allison:

  • Worked with vulnerable populations
  • Secured protection for victims of violence
  • Represented children in removal proceedings and in custody proceedings
  • Educated the local juvenile courts on the issues they will see in custody cases involving these unaccompanied immigrant children

Meet Other Fellows Like Allison

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Gilbert Cavazos

Host: Catholic Charities Dallas

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Catholic Charities of Dallas, U.S. Department of Justice

Lisa Johnson

Host: Legal Services of Southern Piedmont

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Department of Justice, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont

Kate Lewis

Host: Catholic Migration Services

Michael Mastrangelo

Host: Children's Law Center

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP