Megan Sheffield

  • Hosted by Equal Justice Center
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location Austin, Texas
  • Law school The University of Texas School of Law
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2014
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Megan extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legal assistance initiative to reach remote clients in Central, North, and Northwest Texas; build forward-looking legal bridge for clients to access comprehensive immigration reform.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provides important immigration relief to qualifying undocumented youth, including protection from deportation and work authorization. With DACA, these youth are better protected from workplace abuses and have improved access higher education. DACA became available in 2012, but there are still an estimated 48,000 eligible Texans who have not yet applied. One of the major barriers to applying for DACA is the lack of legal assistance. This project will provide DACA outreach and legal services in remote areas of Texas, where nearly 16,400 DACA-eligible youth remain un-served. Not only will this project expand DACA services, but it will also lay groundwork to prepare for impending immigration reform opportunities. This fellowship will provide community education on the progress of immigration reform, help vulnerable communities to avoid fraud and abuse by unscrupulous notarios, and build infrastructure to support widespread legal services for those who may benefit from immigration opportunities that become available.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Megan has:

  • Laid the groundwork for DACA clinics in rural Texas
  • Reviewed DACA clinic models implemented by other organizations, refine the Equal Justice Center model, and create a network of partners in the target communities
  • Conducted community education and outreach in these under-served areas, organize and execute assisted pro se clinics, and provide direct representation to DACA clients
  • Closely followed legislative and policy developments as we prepare for the coming wave of immigration reform

Meet Other Fellows Like Megan

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Michelle Mendez

Host: Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services

Sponsor: DLA Piper LLP (US)

Amelia Ruiz Fischer

Host: Texas Civil Rights Project

Sponsor: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Cassandra Capobianco

Host: Florida Institutional Legal Services, Inc.

Sponsor: Advocacy Center for Persons With Disabilities, Inc., The Florida Bar Foundation

Monica Saxena

Host: The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Sponsor: Anonymous