Carlos Castaneda

  • Hosted by RAICES
  • Sponsored by AmeriCorps, Department of Justice
  • Service location Austin, Texas
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program AmeriCorps Fellows Program

The Project

Carlos Castañeda provides legal representation to unaccompanied alien children (UACs) in their immigration cases, especially affirmative asylum applications and petitions for special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS), as well as the state court proceedings needed for SIJS cases. For immigrant children fleeing violence and economic misery in Central America, the likelihood of obtaining legal status in the United States is very low without professional legal help. Many families feel that their children’s futures are the mercy of powers beyond their control. To provide a sense of empowerment, and also hope, to them is at the core of what this fellowship should accomplish.

Fellowship Highlights

During Carlos’s Fellowship, Carlos:

  • Finalize several briefs for pending asylum applications
  • Submit additional asylum applications, as needed for new or recent clients
  • Complete the state court proceedings and submit the SIJS petitions for other minors
  • Provide pro bono training to local attorneys who are interested in undertaking SIJS cases
  • Mediate a final agreement between parents in a contested family case, in order to submit a petition on behalf of one of his first clients as a jAC fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Carlos

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Gilbert Cavazos

Host: Catholic Charities Dallas

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Catholic Charities of Dallas, U.S. Department of Justice

Lisa Johnson

Host: Legal Services of Southern Piedmont

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Department of Justice, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont

Kate Lewis

Host: Catholic Migration Services

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Oscar Fernandez

Host: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Catholic Charities of Palm Beach, U.S. Department of Justice