Nicqelle Godfrey

Nicqelle Godfrey

  • Hosted by The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program
  • Sponsored by Covington & Burling LLP, Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Veterans' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Nicqelle serves non-citizen veterans through the process of naturalization.

Currently, 16% of veterans who apply for naturalization are denied, which is 5% higher than their civilian counterparts. According to Sections 328 and 329 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, those who serve honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for expedited naturalization. In recent years, there has been a decline in the number of naturalization applications and an increase in application denials. Nicqelle will help veterans through the naturalization process while striving to discover why fewer active service members are applying for naturalization and why veterans are denied naturalization at a higher rate than civilians.

Nicqelle’s family connection to the veteran and immigrant communities makes her passionate about helping non-citizen veterans through the naturalization process

Fellowship Highlights to Date

In the past year, Nicqelle has:

  • Launched the Veterans Naturalization Assistance Program (VNAP)
  • Provided direct representation to 25 veteran clients
  • Referred clients to partner organizations that can best serve their specific needs
  • Delivered 20 virtual educational presentations on the veteran naturalization process, reaching 990 attendees including veteran service officers, law school students, and volunteers
  • Sent over 3,700 outreach emails to individuals working at organizations that serve veterans to increase awareness of the project and available services
  • Participated in 15 coalition-building meetings to increase the reach and impact of the project
  • Successfully held a virtual naturalization clinic with sponsors, which assisted ten non-citizen veterans in beginning their naturalization applications

Next Steps

In the next year, Nicqelle plans to:

  • Develop a greater online presence of VNAP’s services
  • Continue individual outreach to build relationships and educate more individuals about VNAP’s work
  • Host a second non-citizen veterans naturalization clinic
  • Host trainings and educational presentations to teach more attorneys and related professionals about the needs and rights of non-citizen veterans

Media

The Veterans Consortium Announces Our 2020 Equal Justice Works Fellows

Meet Other Fellows Like Nicqelle

View All

Photo of Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt

Host: Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc.

Sponsor: Covington & Burling LLP, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Cherilyn Hansen

Host: Bay Area Legal Services

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, The Florida Bar Foundation

Photo of Samantha Kubek

Samantha Kubek

Host: New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Greystone & Co., Inc.

Sara Huffman

Host: Medical-Legal Partnership for Seniors (MLPS)

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP, PG&E Corporation