Eliseo de León

  • Hosted by American Gateways
  • Sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location San Antonio, Texas
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Eliseo will advocate for asylum seekers who have been targeted and harmed by current immigration policies through appellate litigation, removal defense, and media advocacy.

On June 11, 2018, former U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions issued the decision Matter of A-B- in an attempt to raise the legal standards immigrants must meet to earn asylum in the United States. With Matter of A-B-, the Trump Administration overruled the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) seminal decision Matter of A-R-C-G-, which finally recognized that domestic violence survivors qualified for asylum. Even more harmful, Matter of A-B- contains several sweeping and unsupported statements about asylum law, making it almost impossible for pro se immigrants to earn asylum. Asylum seekers in Texas—particularly those detained at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center (Hutto) in Taylor, Texas and the South Texas Detention Complex (STDC) in Pearsall, Texas—have felt the brunt of Matter of A-B-. Because of this decision, asylum officers and immigration judges are increasingly denying these asylum seekers’ once viable asylum claims. Without legal representation, these asylum seekers, especially those who are domestic violence survivors, risk being deported to countries where they face threats of abuse, assault, rape, and death.

Fellowship Plans

Eliseo will assist detained pro se immigrants who have had their asylum claims denied, non-detained immigrants who have had their asylum claims weakened, and detained domestic violence survivors facing removal. He will also develop legal strategies to challenge Matter of A-B- and create a media plan to share the stories of asylum seekers negatively affected by Matter of A-B-.

I am the son of a Mexican immigrant, so I have always had a very personal connection to and interest in immigration law

Eliseo de León /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Eliseo

View All

Jessica Emerson

Host: The Women's Law Center of Maryland

Sponsor: Friends and Family of Philip M. Stern

Robin Richardson

Host: Urban Justice Center

Sponsor: Friends and Family of Philip M. Stern

Kristin Bochicchio

Host: Tahirih Justice Center

Sponsor: Arnold & Porter Foundation, BP

Stephen Dekovich

Host: Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition

Sponsor: McDermott Will & Emery LLP