Bianca Duenas

  • Hosted by California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
  • Sponsored by The Ottinger Family Foundation
  • Service location Sacramento, California
  • Law school University of California, Davis School of Law
  • Issue area Farmworkers
  • Fellowship class year 2016
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Bianca provided no-cost legal services, training, and education to build capacity and empowerment among Lodi area farmworkers, especially women who are more vulnerable to sexual abuse while in the fields or undocumented farmworkers.

The Central Valley in California has been referred to as the “food basket of the world,” but ironically suffers from high levels of food insecurity and poverty for those who harvest the fields. The overwhelming majority of farmworkers in this area are monolingual Spanish speakers and undocumented. Located between cities with greater resources, Lodi, CA, a rural, agricultural community in San Joaquin County, is a legal services desert with little resources available to undocumented workers.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Bianca:

  • Conducted outreach and community presentations aimed at educating farmworkers and immigrant families on their rights and available immigration remedies
  • Assisted individuals with a brief service, such as consultations, assistance with naturalization, or assistance with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Provided full scope legal representation to individuals in San Joaquin County, including undocumented farmworker immigrants who were victims of crime and survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
  • Worked with partners and other community organizations to help develop and implement an immigration rapid response network in San Joaquin County

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Bianca plans to continue representing immigrants as an Immigration Staff Attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, where she will oversee the provision of immigration legal services in San Joaquin County and other rural counties.

Meet Other Fellows Like Bianca

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Monica Ramirez

Host: Florida Legal Services, Inc.

Sponsor: The Florida Bar Foundation

Anne Piervil

Host: Florida Legal Services

Sponsor: The Florida Bar Foundation

Current Fellow

Lillian Hirales

Host: Florida Legal Services

Sponsor: The Florida Bar Foundation

Michael Marsh

Host: California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

Sponsor: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP