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Headshot of Ana Cecilia Martinez

Ana Martinez

  • Hosted by Equal Justice Center
  • Sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location Austin, Texas
  • Law school Texas A&M University School of Law
  • Issue area Employment, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2024
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Ana (she/her/hers) will provide crucial intersectional immigration and employment legal services for immigrant victims of labor violations in Texas in response to newly available protections for immigrant workers.

In January 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced a program offering temporary immigration protection and work authorization to immigrant workers who are victims or witnesses of labor abuses, to encourage reporting and cooperation with authorities. Immigrant Texans, including undocumented immigrants and guest workers, are particularly vulnerable to employment violations such as wage theft and sexual harassment, but they face challenges in enforcing their rights due to fear of immigration consequences and a lack of lawyers skilled in both employment and immigration law.

Ana’s belief that everyone, regardless of their immigration status, deserves access to justice is shaped by her upbringing and experiences as a daughter of immigrants.

Fellowship Plans

Ana and the Equal Justice Center are launching this project to integrate employment and immigration legal assistance, focusing on the new DHS program and other immigration relief for workers facing labor violations. Ana’s approach includes screening clients for eligibility, coordinating labor enforcement actions with immigration relief requests, and working with agencies to optimize procedures for this new program. Ana will also collaborate with legal and worker rights groups and conduct outreach to educate immigrant communities about these protections.

As a first-generation Latina from a mixed-status family, I had an early awareness of the struggles faced by immigrant communities and am now committed to serving immigrant workers through legal advocacy.

Ana Martinez /
2024 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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