Amira Mikhail

  • Hosted by International Refugee Assistance Project
  • Sponsored by AIG, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school American University Washington College of Law
  • Issue area Human Rights, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Amira reunited refugee and asylee families in the Tri-State area through direct legal representation, targeted outreach, and community education.

This project was established to address the growing need of U.S. volunteer agencies that assist refugees and asylees (“VOLAGS”) in the Tri-State area who have reported that they have hundreds of eligible clients in need of legal assistance. These family-based applications are critical legal avenues allowing persecuted people to continue to get to safety in the U.S. and join their families.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Amira has:

  • Organized five screening clinics for pro bono attorneys and paralegals to assist by screening and providing legal advice to over 120 prospective clients
  • Developed training program including a written manual, a screening form, and other materials to educate and guide pro bono attorneys and paralegals on how to effectively screen refugee and asylee family reunification cases
  • Identified and conducted over fifty intakes with clients seeking family reunification and provided advice or direct representation to over sixty clients and their beneficiaries
  • Assisted in two separate airport pickups for clients who arrived in the U.S. after successful representation

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Amira plans to work with the International Refugee Assistance Project as a staff attorney where she will continue the work she started as a fellow and continue to represent and provide legal information to refugees, focusing on family reunification. Additionally, Amira is excited to continue directing Eshhad – Center for the Protection of Minorities, a nonprofit she founded in 2013. At Eshhad she will grow the work of her team of volunteers in collecting and documenting violence against religious, cultural, and ethnic minorities in the Middle East.


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