Madeline Taylor Diaz

  • Hosted by Ayuda
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Falls Church, Virginia
  • Law school Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2013
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Madeline provided direct legal services and outreach with the goal of obtaining legal status for immigrant children, including victims of violence, those who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, and DREAMers—individuals eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Immigrant children are often isolated from legal resources that could enable them to obtain legal immigration status. Cultural, economic, and language barriers, common to all immigrants, are compounded for a child. Undocumented immigrant children, many of whom are fearful of having their status discovered, are unable to plan for their future. This project provides direct immigration legal services to children in Northern Virginia—a region experiencing rapid growth in its immigrant populations and a lack of services adequate to meet the need—so that these individuals do not fear deportation and can grow up to be successful adults.

Highlights to Date

In the first year, Madeline has:

  • Helped 32 immigrant children obtain relief from deportation and legal immigration status, including T-Visas, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and prosecutorial discretion
  • Provided legal consultations for 150 clients
  • Collaborated with local private attorneys who work with children to educate them on the remedies available for undocumented immigrant children
  • Worked with other service providers to expand services available to undocumented immigrant children
  • Conducted trainings on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for guardians ad litem
  • Identified a way to sustain her project beyond her Fellowship term

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Ashley Ortagus

Host: Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc.

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, The Florida Bar Foundation

Lauren Zack

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Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP, Spotify