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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Immigrant Justice Corps Announces 2019 Justice Fellows

February 20, 2019 GMT

NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC), the country’s first fellowship program wholly dedicated to meeting immigrants’ need for high-quality legal assistance, announced today its 2019 Justice Fellowship class. This select group of talented and promising new lawyers will represent immigrants fighting deportation and seeking lawful status and citizenship. Now more than ever, the infusion of new talent into this field will have an exponential effect in securing the rights of this vulnerable population.


Twenty-seven graduates from top law schools from around the country were chosen from a select pool of law graduates for the prestigious Fellowship at IJC, which was conceived of by Robert A. Katzmann, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and incubated by The Robin Hood Foundation in 2013.

Immigrant Justice Corps, remarked Judge Katzmann, “is having a transformative impact on the quality of legal representation for immigrants. Through their representation this remarkable incoming class of Fellows will aid all involved in the administration of justice – courts and litigants alike, and most deeply, immigrants and their families.”

“For thousands of immigrants,” he continued, “lack of resources will no longer prevent access to justice. Because of Immigrant Justice Corps’ Fellows, immigrants will have a far better chance to realize the American dream for themselves and their families.”

The new class of Fellows brings a wealth of immigration experience. To a person, the 2019 Fellows offer extensive and broad backgrounds in myriad immigration-related internships, jobs, and volunteerism. Their passion and dedication to immigrant’s rights is well-documented and impressive.

Their academic achievements are equally laudable. They are graduates of the leading law schools with exceptional immigration law programs including: Harvard, NYU, UC Hastings, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, Yale, Cardozo School of Law, Michigan State, University of Southern California and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

All the new Justice Fellows are bilingual – 96% of the class speak Spanish. In addition, members of the new class speak Arabic, Mandarin, French, Haitian Creole, Kiswhaili, Hindi and Wolof. More than one third of the class are first-generation immigrants themselves.


The Fellows will serve for two years placed at top legal services agencies across the country. Host organizations are located in and around New York City and New York State, as well as in Connecticut, Texas, Florida, Virginia and Maryland.

IJC is excited to announce that this year we are expanding into two new states. We are sending Justice Fellows to California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) in Sacramento and Fresno, to Public Law Center in Santa Ana, California and to the University of Nevada Law in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are also expanding to new cities in states where we have already sent Fellows, including to Stamford, Connecticut and Orlando, Florida.

“We are thrilled to welcome and support our talented 2019 Fellows whose dedication and commitment to service is exemplary,” said IJC Executive Director Jojo Annobil. “Now more than ever, immigrants need well trained and high caliber lawyers committed to protecting their due process rights. I am confident that the 2019 Fellows will make a difference in immigrants’ lives every day.”

This new class will join the 2018 class of 25 Justice Fellows already in the field. Immigrant Justice Corps also employs Community Fellows, college graduates who provide individualized legal screening and representation in immigration benefits applications to underserved immigrant communities. Applications for the next class of Community Fellows are being accepted now at

The full list of 2019 Justice Fellows is as follows: Fellow Law School 2019 IJC Fellowship Host Organization ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Alyssa E. Bain New York Law School The Door ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Amy Kimbel UCLA Public Law Center ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Audrey Mulholland American University Texas RioGrande Legal Aid ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Brenda Garcia Michigan State Catholic Charities - Orlando ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Cindy Ramirez UC Hastings BakerRipley (Houston) ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Diego Menendez-Estrada Boston University Public Law Center ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Emilie Raber University of Pennsylvania Building One Community ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Emma Morgenstern University of Pennsylvania Volunteers of Legal Service ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Janae Hakala Choquette Northeastern Bronx Defenders ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Jessie Boas Fordham California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (Sacramento) ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Jiyoon Kim Northeastern Brooklyn Defender Services ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- John Jozkowsky Brooklyn Law Safe Horizon ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- John H. Peng University of Pennsylvania Prisoners’ Legal Services ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Katrina Black Harvard RAICES (Austin) ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Kevin Siegal New York University Brooklyn Defender Services ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Lesly Santos Pace Law School Catholic Charities ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Maria Marroquin CUNY Unlocal ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Mariana Negron-Quinones CUNY Safe Passage ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Maya Sikand New York University Neighborhood Defender Services of Harlem ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Megan Elman George Washington The Long Island Project (IJC) ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Nora Searle New York University Bronx Defenders ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Paloma Guerrero UNLV University of Nevada Law, Las Vegas ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Rebecca Taylor University of Southern California Human Rights First ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Rehana Jamal Cardozo Law New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Rosemary Gomez UC Hastings California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (Fresno) ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Tamara Anaie Rutgers Center for Immigrant Representation ----------------------- --------------------------------- -------------------------------------------- Thomas Scott-Railton Yale Bronx Defenders ----------------------- --------------------------------- --------------------------------------------

About Immigrant Justice Corps

Launched in 2014, Immigrant Justice Corps is the country’s first fellowship program dedicated to meeting the unprecedented need for high-quality legal assistance for immigrants. Since then, IJC has served 49,500 immigrants and their families, and the Fellows have had a success rate of 93% in their cases – nearly seven times the success rate of those without lawyers.

Since 2014, IJC has trained 175 Justice Fellows and Community Fellows to provide exceptional legal services to low-income immigrants who cannot afford lawyers. Seventy-five Justice Fellows have graduated from the program – 92% of whom continue practicing in the immigration field after completing the IJC Justice Fellowship.



Holly CooperCommunications ManagerImmigrant Justice

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at: