Unaccompanied immigrant children (UC) need representation to assert their right to remain in the United States. There is a need for coordination among UC legal and social service providers to ensure children have access to resources, know their rights and avoid fraud. The LAUSD needed a consistent and reliable immigration attorney to provide information and assistance in giving its students, families and staff updates about immigration and immigrants’ rights after increasing insecurity, fear, and confusion in the community.
In the past two years, Cindy has:
- Given information about various forms of immigration relief, general “Know Your Rights,” and updates on immigration policy and practice to more than 1100 youth, parents, and community members including brief service and referrals for consultations
- Provided full representation to 28 children and 8 adults with children fleeing abuse and violence in Central America in Immigration Court, state court, the asylum office or with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Informed more than 85 therapists and 60 teachers on issues affecting UCs academically, socially and legally, including how to assist traumatized children within the scope of their work
- Attended at least 36 coalition-building meetings
- Assisted in the development of a comprehensive “know your rights” presentation and facilitator’s guide for LAUSD to use with their “We Are One Unified Los Angeles School District Standing With Immigrants Families” campaign
Now that the Fellowship is complete, Cindy plans to:
- Continue to represent her clients at CARECEN as a staff attorney
- Represent victims who may be eligible for U or T Nonimmigrant Status or protection under the Violence Against Women Act.
- Represent adults who may be eligible for asylum, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
- Continue to work with LAUSD to provide relevant and up to date information to the community regarding immigration and immigrants’ rights