Mary Holper

The Inspiration

The Inspiration

The Inspiration

The Project

Michelle’s project provided representation to immigrants in removal proceedings on account of civil rights violations on the part of local police and ICE agents. The project aimed to educate immigrant families, many of which have mixed immigration status, on their legal rights and how to protect themselves in case of immigration enforcement threatening to separate them. During her project, Michelle worked with local law enforcement agencies to maintain/develop immigrant friendly policies and convince these agencies to solely focus on enforcing state criminal law.

Media

Keeping Families Together

A Family Will Remain United

The Project

Sandy aimed to keep immigrants in New Orleans out of jail, and to ensure basic justice for those arrested. In collaboration with Orleans Public Defenders—founded after Katrina and now an innovative office dedicated to client-centered representation—Sandy created community support structures for immigrant defendants and their families; advocated for adequate interpretation in New Orleans jails and courts; trained defense attorneys in relevant immigration law; and provided direct representation to immigrant defendants in criminal court.

The Project

Alisa challenged the jail-detention-deportation pipeline many noncitizens face through a pilot project responding to ICE’s practices at NYC jails. Additionally, Alisa documented abuse, provided pro se assistance, helped contest legal interpretations mandating detention, and coordinated litigation challenging unconstitutional practices. Finally, Alisa created toolkits and trainings from lessons learned. By advocating with allies, Alisa hoped to shift the public debate from one that dehumanizes “criminal aliens” to one that focuses on ways to make our communities truly secure.

The Project

Through direct representation and collaboration with others, I increase the representation of refugees being denied asylum on spurious national security-related grounds. My project aims to assist the broadest possible number of refugees in need of assistance in addition to spurring immigration law reform.

The Inspiration

The Project

Esha’s project addressed the lack of due process for immigration detainees with mental disabilities.  Using a combination of direct representation, impact litigation and national advocacy, Esha worked to secure the rights of individuals forced to navigate the daunting maze of removal proceedings alone, without the right to appointed counsel and other procedural safeguards.

Media

U.S. Tracked Activists and Journalists as Migrant Caravans Headed to the Border

I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given in life and feel a responsibility to help remove the obstacles preventing others from achieving their own dreams.

Esha Bhandari /
Equal Justice Works Fellow