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Supporting the Immigrant Community

Within my mixed-status family, we never know what our future will look like individually or collectively in the U.S. Without access to adequate financial resources, I have witnessed family members struggle to earn their college degrees; some have even abandoned their educational goals. I have watched my parents stress over bills because they are not able to secure safe and well-paying jobs. The privilege I have as a U.S citizen grants me opportunities to succeed and fully understand the needs of families like mine.

My project revolves on supporting the immigrant community's access legal resources. I am currently interning at the law firm Towards Justice where I manage their intake program and speak with workers who are victims of workplace violations. I was assigned as an advocate to a Spanish-speaking worker who had suffered physical and verbal abuse from her employer for 10 years. Due to the physical abuse she experienced in the place of employment, she was sent to the hospital numerous times but remained silent because of the real fear of deportation. Listening to this woman convey her story over the phone sickened me. How many more immigrant workers were being exploited in similar unsafe work situations? Her workplace abuse resulted in severe mental health issues—I heard the need for help through our conversations so I gathered local affordable mental health resources to refer her to. I aided our attorneys in translation calls to provide legal advice and referred her to immigration resources and partnered attorneys. We are still currently working on this case to secure the justice that she deserves. The worker’s story triggered me because I thought about my family and the times they have been taken advantage of as undocumented immigrants. I am proud to know I make workers feel safe and heard while bringing justice into their lives by referring them to legal resources. I now realize that diverse representation in the legal field is crucial; there is a deep need for impassioned lawyers willing to battle for families tangled in the immigration system, families who need reassurance of their belonging in the United States.