Misha Seay

  • Hosted by Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
  • Sponsored by The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
  • Service location East Palo Alto, California
  • Law school University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2014
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

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.

Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship

In the first six months, Misha will:

  • Provide direct legal assistance and representation to at least 20 immigrant youth in EPA and surrounding communities
  • Begin collaborating with the San Francisco Immigration Court and other legal service providers in the Bay Area to create a special juvenile docket for youth in removal proceedings
  • Build new relationships and conduct outreach to family law attorneys, law enforcement, and social service providers to ensure my clients’ full range of legal and non-legal needs are being met

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