Kristin Bochicchio

  • Hosted by Tahirih Justice Center
  • Sponsored by Arnold & Porter Foundation, BP
  • Service location Houston, Texas
  • Law school University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
  • Issue area Human Rights, Immigrant Populations, Women's Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2012
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Kristin helped African and Middle Eastern immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence to obtain lawful immigration status so they could begin to rebuild their lives. Houston is now the most diverse city in America. Due to its proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, international airports, interstate highways, and an international seaport, Houston is a hub for immigration and, unfortunately, human trafficking. African and Middle Eastern women fleeing violence are particularly vulnerable because no local service provider targets their population.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Kristin:

  • Provided brief service, advice, and referrals to 49 clients
  • Represented 85 women and children in affirmative and defensive asylum cases and in applications for T visas, U visas, and relief under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • Trained more than 50 pro bono attorneys to serve as co-counsel in gender-based asylum, VAWA, T visa, and U visa cases
  • Developed training manuals around gender-based asylum and how to represent human trafficking victims in T visa applications
  • Educated 300 Houston-based attorneys and paralegals at BP’s annual staff retreat about the needs of African and Middle Eastern immigrant women fleeing gender-based violence
  • Co-presented CLE workshops at BP headquarters and Arnold & Porter’s Houston office
  • Led a BP-Tahirih clinic where seven BP attorneys and five BP paralegals spent a
  • Saturday morning completing green card applications for ten Tahirih clients
  • Helped establish Tahirih Justice Center as a go-to resource for African and Middle Eastern women and girls fleeing gender-based violence

Next Steps

Kristin is continuing her career in immigration law as an attorney advisor at the San Francisco Immigration Court, a position within the Department of Justice Honors Program.

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