Maria Ignacia Rodriguez

  • Hosted by National Immigration Law Center
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Los Angeles , California
  • Law school University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2013
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Ignacia is litigating, providing policy analysis and education, and advocating to increase access to education, health care, and other state benefits for low-income immigrant youth and children, particularly those who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

U.S. laws and policies significantly limit immigrant children and youth from being able to integrate as equal members of our society. Immigrant children and youth want the opportunity to work, study, and live in the U.S. without the fear of being deported and without experiencing the social stratification that comes with being undocumented. In an attempt to provide some relief, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, which provides certain undocumented youth the opportunity to work and live in the United States. This development presents a unique and unprecedented opportunity for immigrants’ rights advocates to ensure undocumented immigrant youth have full access to services and benefits. DACA also presents an opportunity to push for more rights for these individuals, including long-term status for undocumented youth and children and expanding the pool of DACA applicants.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Ignacia has:

  • Protected the due process rights of unaccompanied children through application of the Orantes decision and policy work
  • Provided technical assistance to 40 individuals seeking immigration advice
  • Created NILC’s DACA Renewal Process FAQs
  • Drafted comments and advocacy letters to the Department of Homeland Security making recommendations on the DACA process
  • Provided webinars, presentations, and workshops to more than 1,000 people on how to apply for DACA and on life after DACA (e.g., how to obtain a driver’s license and how to access higher education)

Meet Other Fellows Like Maria Ignacia

View All

Photo of Fernanda Herrara Spieler

Fernanda Herrera Spieler

Host: Resilience Force

Sponsor: Equal Justice Works Text-to-Give

Current Fellow

Photo of Brenda Pfahnl

Brenda Pfahnl

Host: Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Sponsor: 3M Company, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Current Fellow

Photo of Reema Ali

Reema Ali

Host: Equal Justice Center

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Megan Sheffield

Host: Equal Justice Center

Sponsor: Anonymous