Cristian Sanchez

  • Hosted by RAICES
  • Sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location San Antonio, Texas
  • Law school The University of Texas School of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Cristian represented immigrant populations that are newly in danger of immigration enforcement through community education, preparation, and direct representation.

The way that immigration enforcement in this country is carried out has changed. Executive orders have drastically expanded who is considered an enforcement priority. These changes have resulted in individuals who previously felt relatively safe now being at risk of detention and deportation. For example, the administration has attempted to end the DACA program, and has ended Temporary Protected Status for many. These individuals and their families now face a range of unknowns. Many do not know their rights under the law or how to seek legal help. They likely have not prepared for the possibility of a family member being detained or deported, and do not know how to prepare. Furthermore, enforcement has appeared to expand at internal Border Patrol checkpoints. Many families who live south of these internal checkpoints have to cross the checkpoint to access better medical care, which can put them at risk of enforcement.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Cristian has:

  • Provided full representation to 11 clients in immigration court on matters including asylum and parole applications, as well as provided brief services and advice to over 60 additional individuals
  • Conducted 25 Know Your Rights and other presentations, reaching over 450 immigrants
  • Represented a former DACA holder who had his renewal denied because of his anti-ICE activism
  • Represented a young lesbian mother who was one of the first asylum seekers returned to Mexico under the new “Remain in Mexico” policy
  • Assisted a group of LGBTQ asylum seekers, called La Comunidad, including finding pro bono representation and applying for parole
  • Initiated a pro bono and representation program for a new “trans pod” at a local detention center, where transgender asylum seekers had been transferred from all over the country

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Cristian will join RAICES as a Staff Attorney, where he will represent and coordinate services for the new “trans pod” at a local detention center.

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