Jessica Gutierrez ’21 Receives Prestigious National Immigration Fellowship
Jessica Gutierrez ’21 is one of twenty-eight law school graduates from around the country who were selected for a two-year fellowship with the Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC). Her fellowship will begin in September.
Gutierrez will be working at the Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy (ISLA) in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her focus will be on removal defense assistance to detained individuals located at detention centers throughout Louisiana. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to learn how to better advocate for immigrant communities,” Gutierrez stated. “More importantly, I am excited to continue working alongside individuals passionate about fighting for immigrant rights and access to legal services.”
Gutierrez has a background in immigration law but it was through her internship experiences during law school that she decided this was the area she wanted to practice in. As a student, Gutierrez helped organize fellow law students to travel to detention centers in Texas to help asylum-seeking families. Gutierrez also wrote a legal memorandum for her Transformative Immigration Law class which became the foundation of a human rights report about separated teens and their prolonged detention in Oregon and Washington.
“My passion for immigration law stems from a combination of personal and work experiences,” Gutierrez says. “Seeing the barriers and trauma immigrant communities face and, on top of that, the lack of legal access for a complicated immigration system fuels my passion to advocate for immigrant communities.”
Since the founding of IJC in 2014, IJC Fellows have assisted over 80,000 low-income immigrants. The IJC Fellow program, the country’s first fellowship program dedicated entirely to meeting immigrants’ legal needs, works to identify promising lawyers and advocates and place them in organizations where they can make the greatest difference. Additionally, the program supplies training and support to incoming fellows before starting their position.