Photo of Cindy Guaman

Cindy Guaman

  • Hosted by Make the Road New Jersey
  • Sponsored by Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation
  • Service location Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • Law school Rutgers School of Law - Newark
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Cindy (she/her/hers) will provide a multidisciplinary approach to reduce both the school-to-prison pipeline and the prison-to-deportation pipeline through direct representation, advocacy, and education.

Noncitizen juveniles face many barriers in accessing their rights. Without access to bilingual staff, funding, and competent immigration legal representation, noncitizen youth are often excluded from rehabilitative programs and denied a chance to pursue immigration relief to which they are entitled. Without high-quality legal representation and advocacy, noncitizen juveniles are left to navigate the juvenile justice and immigration systems on their own, and often face continued detention and deportation.

Cindy has witnessed the many injustices her entire family experienced as undocumented immigrants. She grew tired of watching her community be harmed time and time again, which led to her dedicating her career to immigration law.

Fellowship Plans 

Cindy will provide high-quality legal counsel to immigrant juveniles in NJ juvenile detention centers and residential community homes to obtain better outcomes before Immigration and Customs Enforcement detains and deport youth. Cindy will advocate for expanded funding to provide all juveniles with representation and expand access to social services for them. Cindy will educate youth on their legal rights when confronting the juvenile justice system and will train attorneys to represent juveniles with records.

Witnessing my own family face never ending injustices propelled me into this work. I was tired of seeing my loved ones being degraded and taken advantage of and I knew I wanted to do something about it.

Cindy Guaman /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Hayley Upshaw

Host: Legal Services for Children

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Maria Alejandra Acevedo

Host: Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network

Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, U.S. Department of Justice

Courtney Bolin

Host: Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Laura Matthews-Jolly

Host: City Bar Justice Center

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP