Jordan Cunnings

  • Hosted by Public Counsel
  • Sponsored by ALM
  • Service location Los Angeles, California
  • Law school University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • Issue area Family Law, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Jordan protected immigrant families in the Los Angeles area by representing parents in immigration detention and collaborating with lawyers representing immigrant parents in dependency proceedings.

When immigrant parents are placed in removal proceedings, family separation is often inevitable, especially when parents are placed in immigration detention. Although recent federal and California laws seek to address the separation of immigrant families, detained parents remain uniquely vulnerable. Detained parents continue to face significant barriers when fighting their immigration cases and working to keep their families together. Most detained parents cannot afford immigration counsel and must represent themselves, a nearly impossible task. Additionally, minimal support exists for detained parents whose children have been placed in the dependency system, especially because of the difficulty these parents have with effectively participating in dependency court proceedings. Jordan’s project will address the overlap of the removal and dependency systems by representing detained parents facing removal and ensuring their participation in ongoing dependency court proceedings.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Jordan:

  • Interviewed parents in Los Angeles area detention centers to identify barriers to family reunification
  • Provided a parent-specific legal orientation program in area detention centers
  • Represented detained parents in removal proceedings
  • Reached out to local dependency attorneys to begin dialogue on collaboration and future trainings

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