2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Headshot of Annie Whitney

Annie Whitney

  • Hosted by New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)
  • Sponsored by McDermott Will & Emery LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2024
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Annie (she/her) will work with New York Legal Assistance Group to challenge due process violations in Immigration Court and ensure respect for the right to seek asylum.

Since spring 2022, over 160,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City on buses from Texas. Under domestic and international law, everyone fleeing persecution has the right to seek asylum and make their case to remain in the United States. However, New York’s Immigration Courts are overburdened, under functioning, and systematically violating due process rights. As a result, many asylum seekers are wrongfully ordered deported to places where they may fear persecution before they have their day in court.

Annie credits her commitment to immigration advocacy to her family members who moved from Egypt to the United States, a desire to fight the dehumanizing treatment of people she has witnessed while working on borders, and a deep conviction that everyone deserves a safe home.

Fellowship Plans

Annie will challenge wrongful deportation orders through direct representation and systemic advocacy. She will host Know Your Rights sessions at migrant shelters and community centers. Annie will also build a toolkit for other attorneys and pro se litigants to challenge due process violations in Immigration Court.

The United States promises to be a nation of immigrants, but we are closing the front door to our Immigration Courts in the face of the newest New Yorkers. We can — and must — demand better.

Annie Whitney /
2024 Equal Justice Works

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