Receiving a PILP stipend allowed me to spend the summer working for the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”) in Adelanto, California. The EOIR is responsible for adjudicating all immigration cases in the United States. The Adelanto Immigration Court is located in a Department of Homeland Security controlled detention facility, so I had the unique opportunity to work in a detained setting and handle immigration cases complicated by criminal convictions.
As a legal intern with the EOIR, I worked closely with immigration judges and judicial law clerks on several projects, including researching and preparing decisions on applications for relief from removal, such as asylum, withholding of removal, and the U.N. Convention against Torture. I sat in on numerous immigration hearings and afforded the opportunity to discuss the cases with the immigration judges. Additionally, I toured several sites, such as the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the Los Angeles Asylum Office, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The EOIR designed these tours to give us, the interning law students, a broader understanding of the immigration process outside of the courtroom.
My summer with the EOIR was a tremendously valuable experience. With the education I received with the EOIR, my comprehension of immigration law is exponentially improved and I know that I am better equipped to advocate for immigrants’ rights. Immigrants are a widely marginalized population within the United States, and being knowledgeable on the complexities of the immigration process is essential in giving them the representation they deserve. I would like to thank PILP and its supporters for awarding me a PILP stipend, enabling me to afford my internship with the EOIR this summer.