Photo of Sophia Genovese

Sophia Genovese

  • Hosted by New Mexico Immigrant Law Center
  • Sponsored by Disaster Resilience Program
  • Service location Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Law school Brooklyn Law School
  • Issue area Disaster Recovery, Disaster Response and Preparedness, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Disaster Resilience Program

The Project

Sophia is a Senior Attorney at the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC) where she leads the asylum and detention team. In this role, Sophia provides consultations, pro se assistance, and direct representation to noncitizens in immigration detention and non-detained asylum seekers while also participating in impact litigation. Sophia additionally engages in community organizing, movement lawyering, and advocacy to enact policies and legislation which supports immigrant communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally impacted immigrants, especially those in immigration detention. Studies have shown COVID-19 spreads faster in carceral settings, which are plagued by wholly inadequate medical care. The combination of these things have proven lethal for immigrants in detention, making representation of them all the more necessary to ensure their release from custody. For non-detained immigrants, who are often essential workers, access to medical care is hampered by the lack of immigration status, language and cultural barriers, and geography. This project addresses those disparities and seeks to close the gap in accessing basic services by way of achieving lawful immigration status, referrals to services, and advocacy.

Fellowship Plans

Sophia’s motivation for pursuing public interest work, particularly in the immigration space, is deeply personal and political. She is incredibly privileged to have had access to higher education and law school despite economic hardship, and the familial support to pursue a career in public service. Due to systemic inequalities and racism, her immigrant clients are not afforded these privileges. Using the privilege of her law license, she wants to ensure that clients and immigrant communities have access to not only necessities, but the ability to live and thrive with dignity and abundance.

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