Photo of Dennise Moreno

Dennise Moreno

  • Hosted by Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project
  • Sponsored by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Yale Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Dennise will represent formerly detained and separated families who have suffered as a result of zero-tolerance border policies in their asylum proceedings, and will develop practice guides and accessible pro se materials to address common legal issues in their cases.

The zero-tolerance border policy resulted in the separation of thousands of families just last year. While public outcry has resulted in the reunification of many of these families, their struggle for safety and well-being in this country is just beginning. Formerly detained and separated families must now navigate the United States’ confusing and complicated immigration system as they apply for asylum. Unfortunately, these families are often dealing with procedurally complex asylum cases, and immigration advocates across the country are unable to meet their legal needs. Legal representation for these families is crucial, as fewer than 3% of unrepresented families in immigration court are successful in securing asylum nationwide.

Dennise grew up in Chicago with two formerly undocumented immigrant parents from Mexico. As a Latina and as a daughter of immigrants, Dennise is excited to begin her legal career representing asylum-seeking families with the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP).

Fellowship Plans

Dennise will work to fill the gaps in representation faced by formerly detained and separated families by: (1) providing families direct representation in immigration court, at the Board of Immigration Appeals, and before the federal circuit courts; (2) developing practice advisories and templates to encourage volunteer attorneys throughout the country to represent other families who have similarly been affected by zero-tolerance border policies; and (3) creating accessible pro se materials to empower formerly detained and separated families to take control of their cases and advocate for their own rights.

Asylum-seeking families are tasked with rebuilding their lives in an unfamiliar and often hostile place, all while the threat of deportation and the return to the very violence they fled looms over them. It is a gargantuan task, and one that no parent, child, or family should face alone.

Dennise Moreno /
Equal Justice Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Dennise

View All

Photo of Brittany Bane

Brittany Bane

Host: Community Legal Center

Sponsor: International Paper

Current Fellow

Camille Van Kote

Host: St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Current Fellow

Ann Garcia

Host: RAICES

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Current Fellow

Jordan Cunnings

Host: Public Counsel

Sponsor: ALM