Photo of Reema Ali

Reema Ali

  • Hosted by Equal Justice Center
  • Sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location Dallas, Texas
  • Law school The University of Texas School of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Reema built a new model of integrated employment and immigration legal services for vulnerable immigrant workers to holistically combat workplace exploitation and improve immigration protection.

Immigrant workers are often the victims of wage theft, labor trafficking, workplace sexual assault and harassment, and other employment abuse. Their basic employment rights are inextricably bound together with their immigration rights. However, very few employment lawyers or immigration lawyers have the specialized, integrated mastery of both immigration law and employment law necessary to navigate immigrant workers through the employment justice system while avoiding immigration entanglements. Reema’s project aimed to provide a holistic model to enforce the employment rights of immigrant workers while also providing immigration relief.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship period, Reema:

  • Provided direct client representation on an intersectional caseload to provide both employment and immigration services to approximately 100 clients on issues involving wage and hour violations, sexual harassment in the workplace, civil trafficking, and T and U visa applications
  • Provided advice, limited representation, and/or referrals to an additional 400 individuals
  • Utilized lesser-known avenues to request T or U visa certifications to successfully obtain certifications for immigrant workers who were victims of crimes in the workplace 
  • Collaborated with local partners and organizations on citizenship clinics, Know Your Rights information sessions, and client representation for immigrant workers in employment and immigration law matters
  • Co-presented at the Poverty Law Conference in Austin, Texas, on the intersection of employment and immigration law to help build the understanding of this intersection among public interest lawyers

What’s Next?

Reema will continue to directly represent clients in need of holistic employment and immigration services as a staff attorney at the Equal Justice Center.  She will continue to build relationships and strengthen work with client community groups, local officials, and immigrant rights advocates in Texas to build community understanding of the interplay between immigration and employment rights.

Media

Equal Justice Works Fellows Participate in 2019 Texas Poverty Law Conference

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