Amanda Miller Headshot

Amanda Miller

  • Hosted by Legal Services for Children
  • Sponsored by The Arnold & Porter Foundation
  • Service location San Francisco, California
  • Law school University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Amanda represents the rising number of immigrant youth in the dependency system as a result of shifting immigration policies that increasingly destabilize and separate immigrant families.

Recent shifts in immigration policies have immensely threatened the safety, security, and stability of immigrant families, resulting in a growing number of immigrant children in the child welfare system. These young people have distinct needs in the child welfare system, such as precarious legal status of their family members and themselves, distinct multicultural and linguistic backgrounds, or complex trauma as a result of immigration histories in an era of emboldened xenophobia. This project addresses these unique needs through holistic and trauma-informed advocacy.

Amanda is motivated to leverage her legal skills and access to systems of power to challenge the insidious ways in which immigrant communities of color are targeted, criminalized, and dehumanized by our legal system. She hopes to contribute to ongoing immigrant rights movements to ensure that everyone—regardless of immigration status—has access to the resources and legal protections necessary to live a life full of dignity and safety.

Fellowship Highlights to Date

In the first year of the Fellowship, Amanda has:

  • Represented 14 young people who have been placed in the child welfare system in both their dependency and immigration matters.
  • Successfully advocated for enforcement of dependent youths’ rights to visit caregivers and siblings, adequate and effective medical and psychiatric care, and access to transitional housing placements.
  • Filed 8 petitions for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, 3 applications for Asylum, 1 petition for Nonimmigrant U Status, and 3 applications for work authorization.

Next Steps

In the next year, Amanda plans to:

  • Expand her representation model to account for educational rights for immigrant foster youth.
  • Develop a training series for local child protective services agencies on the specific needs and rights of immigrant foster youth.
  • Provide technical assistance and mentorship to local dependency attorneys in order to build capacity for the effective representation of all immigrant-dependent youth.

Meet Other Fellows Like Amanda

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Lauren Zack

Host: Public Counsel

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP, Spotify

Mary Bissell

Mary Bissell

Host: Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Jaynie Leung

Host: Children's Law Center of Minnesota

Sponsor: Robins Kaplan LLP

Rachel Kleinberg

Host: Public Counsel

Sponsor: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP