Host: Public Counsel
Misha will provide legal representation to disadvantaged immigrant youth in East Palo Alto (EPA), California, and neighboring communities and create a special juvenile docket to increase access to counsel at the local immigration court.
Immigrant youth growing up in EPA face myriad challenges to becoming successful and integrated members of society. In a city that is predominantly Latino and which suffers from high poverty and crime rates, EPA’s youth are more likely to come from abusive homes, be victims of violent crime, and be racially profiled. Any contact with law enforcement increases the risk of being referred to immigration authorities for deportation. Yet many youth placed in removal proceedings go without legal counsel, raising the likelihood that they will be deported unfairly and fail to obtain the justice they deserve. There is no program in place at the local immigration court to prevent this from happening. Moreover, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto is the only legal service provider in Silicon Valley that represents immigrant youth in removal proceedings, yet it has struggled to meet the growing demand for help.
In the first six months, Misha will: