Molly Cohen

The Project

Molly implemented a holistic outreach and representation model to pursue zealous and creative immigration legal representation for transgender immigrant survivors of violence and trafficking with complex cases.

In New York City, transgender immigrant women experience pervasive and widespread discrimination and marginalization. Because of this intolerance, the community is disproportionately vulnerable to violence and human trafficking. The intersecting oppressions of a lack of immigration status and the criminalization of many forms of survival prevent many from accessing vital legal advocacy. This project worked to overcome such barriers by engaging in community outreach to educate and pursue direct legal representation for transgender survivors of violence and trafficking.

Fellowship Highlights

Despite an increasingly challenging immigration legal environment, Molly won asylum status and T visas for five transgender immigrant survivor clients, and has immigration applications pending for numerous others. Molly worked with out-of-state counsel to help clear trafficking and transphobia-related criminal records for several clients, assisted in international family reunification, and obtained employment authorization for numerous individuals.

Molly also provided advice, conducted brief service, and gave referrals to 50 individuals, and conducted Know Your Rights workshops and presentations to community groups throughout the city. She also educated legislators in Albany and New York about proposed legislation that would impact her clients.

What’s Next

Molly will remain at her host organization as an immigration staff attorney, where she will continue to zealously represent transgender immigrant survivors with complex cases and conduct community-based outreach.