Eduardo Cisneros

  • Hosted by Legal Aid Chicago
  • Sponsored by U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime
  • Service location Chicago, Illinois
  • Law school Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School
  • Issue area Human Trafficking and Victim’s Rights Enforcement, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Crime Victims Justice Corps

The Project

For the past 50 years, LAF has provided people living in poverty in metropolitan Chicago with comprehensive free legal services to resolve non-criminal issues. Each year, LAF’s more than 80 full-time attorneys and support staff help resolve civil legal problems, including consumer fraud, foreclosure, unfair evictions, domestic violence, and many others. LAF’s work helps about 35,000 people annually. The Immigrants and Workers’ Rights Practice Group at LAF represents clients in all types of immigration and employment matters, and the majority of work covers the entire state of Illinois. Through the Illinois Migrant Legal Assistance Project IWR provides high quality civil legal services to migrant and seasonal agricultural workers across Illinois. In addition, IWR runs a state-wide program, the Trafficking Survivors Assistance Program (TSAP).

Eduardo will provide direct legal services to human trafficking survivors to address the range of civil legal issues that arise from the victimization. He will work with a variety of survivors from diverse backgrounds, including low-wage workers, immigrants, migrant farmworkers, short-term visa holders, citizens, non-citizens, and other individuals.

Eduardo’s past experiences have equipped him with the vital tools that are needed to be a zealous advocate for human rights. Prior to law school, Eduardo was a volunteer with City Year, Inc. (an AmeriCorps program) in Chicago, Illinois, dedicating two years to serve the underserved communities of Chicago. In his first year, Eduardo was placed in a high school on the West Side of Chicago. There, he worked with 10th graders and developed positive relationships to help equip the students with the necessary tools and skills to succeed academically and in life. In his second year, Eduardo was part of the Civic Engagement team, where he, and his 5 teammates, planned, organized and executed physical service events in the underserved communities of Chicago. The events ranged from 50 to 1000 volunteers, engaging over 3000 volunteers in over 8000 hours of service. He gained invaluable skills in fostering relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and service partners, planning and organizing, and being a part of a team and a leader. In addition, Eduardo also has his own personal story that ties him to the communities LAF serves. When he was still in his mother’s womb, his parents and two older sisters emigrated from Mexico to Rochelle, Illinois. He remembers that in the second grade his father required him to learn by memory his social security number. He has never forgotten it since, and he has never forgotten the importance of those 9 digits to him and what it means to many others. Eduardo is a firm believer that everyone is equal and that human rights are everyone’s rights.

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