Photo of Cristina Rodriguez

Cristina Rodriguez

  • Hosted by Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
  • Sponsored by Costco Wholesale
  • Service location Tacoma, Washington
  • Law school University of Washington School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Cristina’s (she/her/hers) project with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project will focus on empowering and advocating for Indigenous Guatemalan women and children who have fled gender and family-based violence through community education, outreach, and direct representation.

Recently, Indigenous Guatemalan families have increasingly immigrated to rural Washington counties. A large percentage of this community are women and children who have very little access to legal resources and are unrepresented in removal proceedings. They are at an urgent risk of being returned to a country where they are very likely to continue experiencing persecution. But addressing this need is complicated by language barriers, cultural differences, and general distrust of outsiders fostered by the history of violence and oppression in their home country.

Indigenous Guatemalan women and children need a comprehensive response that combines direct immigration representation and empowerment through community education and outreach.

Cristina’s passion for this work began at a very young age when she watched her family and community struggle to navigate the immigration system. Her immigrant heritage and low-income background motivates her commitment to developing a grassroots movement for immigrant justice in the Latinx Indigenous community.

Fellowship Plans

Cristina’s project provides three forms of service delivery: community education and outreach will help give power and decision-making back to Indigenous immigrant communities; direct immigration representation may provide a pathway to permanent residency for women and children facing deportation; creating sustainable and ongoing legal materials for attorneys and legal advocates will make it easier to represent this community who is in urgent need.

Media

Jemimah Kamau and Cristina Rodriguez Named 2022 Equal Justice Works Fellows

I pursued higher education to gain the tools necessary to redistribute power back to my communities. My Equal Justice Works Fellowship will provide me with the support and resources to do this and so much more!

Cristina Rodriguez /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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