In 2015, CLINIC received funding from three donors to launch the CLINIC Fellows program in the Southeast. There are an estimated 1.83 million undocumented immigrants in the region, yet only 158 immigration legal service providers, equaling one provider for every 11,582 undocumented immigrants. This statistic is compounded with the rapid growth of the immigrant population in the region, particularly among Latinos. The program aims to increase the reach of immigration legal services and public education in underserved areas.
The CLINIC Fellows program funds an additional full-time immigration legal representative at 12 recognized programs within eight southeastern states. The Fellow aids the organization in expanding outreach, education and legal service provision while CLINIC provides advocacy support, training, and technical assistance to strengthen the programs and increase their sustainability.
The CLINIC Fellows program has served over 17,000 people in its first year and contributed to a 64% increase in outreach and education events in the area.
If you have feedback or questions, please contact Paola Marquez at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read stories from the first year of the CLINIC Fellow’s program in our Christmas resource: Las Posadas Navideñas (available in English and Spanish).
Aliyah Donsky is a CLINIC Fellow with Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New Orleans. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she studied Religion and Latino Studies and completed a thesis on support for progressive immigration reform among evangelical Christians. While at school, she was also involved with organizing efforts in the local immigrant community. These experiences underscored for her the depth and urgency of immigration needs and strengthened her desire to provide direct services to community members.
Claudia Perez has worked in the immigration attorney’s field for eight years. During the last five years as a case manager, she acquired experience in almost every type of immigration case. Now, as immigration counselor for Catholic Charities, she seeks to learn more about all immigration matters, but most importantly, to offer the best of herself to the community that really needs help.
Diana Castro was admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 2008. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law and her BA in Communications from the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan, PR. Her interest in immigration laws and procedures began when she worked at the San Juan International Airport. She was assigned to the Customs and Immigration terminals where she got familiar with entry requirements, different visa types, asylum and expedited removal procedures, among others.
Gaudy Garcia graduated from Mercy College with a degree in Legal Studies. Upon graduation she began working for a well-known and respected Immigration Attorney in Westchester County, NY, Robin Bikkal. It is there where her love and passion for working with the immigrant community grew. She was very fortunate to have worked with Ms. Bikkal, who was very active in the Hispanic Community and from whom she learned so much regarding Immigration Law. Gaudy moved to Florida 10 years ago and continued working as an immigration paralegal.
During her undergraduate studies at Lee University, in Cleveland, Tenessee, Lauren's long time interest in pursuing a career working with immigrant populations grew to new heights. Post-graduation, she participated in a semester abroad discipleship program in Chihuahua, Mexico. For her, this Fellows program was a HUGE answer to prayer as she has been seeking an opportunity to become a BIA accredited representative for several years!!! In December, she moved from Florida to North Carolina, so she is looking forward to learning about her new community.
Matthew F. Young is from Brandon, Mississippi. He attended Hinds Community College, Belhaven University, and Mississippi College School of Law. He is excited to work as a fellow and looks forward to using his strengths to help people in need.
Miriam Martinez immigrated to United States from Mexico City, Mexico when she was seven years old. As an undocumented immigrant she understands firsthand the perils, fears and struggles that immigrant clients face, whether they are documented or undocumented. As a DACA recipient, she offers a glimmer of hope to many who currently may feel disillusioned by their experiences.
Monica Callahan earned three Bachelors of Art degrees from Villanova University: Communication, Spanish, & Latin American Studies. In the Spring of 2013, she studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, focusing on Argentine literature, art, and history. Following graduation she moved to Zaragoza, Spain, where she worked as an au pair for a Spanish family. She taught the four children English as a second language and attended Spanish classes. Shortly after returning to the States, she was excited to read the job listing for the CLINIC Fellow position given her background in t
Nathalie was born and raised in Germany in a Spanish-German household. Her background is international commerce, and therefore languages and being exposed to different cultures have always played an important part in her professional and private life. She has lived in Germany, Spain, India, Washington, DC, and now Kentucky. She completed her studies at EKU with a double degree in Spanish and Comparative Humanities. For two years she was a Legal Assistant at Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, translating, interpreting and aiding in various ways the work with the immigrant community in Kentucky.
Silvia Arias Barber is the CLINIC Fellow in Blloxi, Mississippi. She holds a Masters in Law from the University of Texas in Austin, a Masters in International Relations from San Francisco State University, and a Bachelors in Law from Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Peru.
Susana Quiroga is a CLINIC Fellow with Catholic Charities Atlanta, where she works as an Immigration Counselor/Paralegal. Susana has a law degree from the “Universidad Nacional del Altiplano” in Peru, where she is from. In the United States, she has graduated from The University of Georgia as a Certified Paralegal. Before she started with Catholic Charities, Susana worked for more than 8 years at Atlanta Legal Aid Society in the Hispanic Outreach Program.