Many people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will be harmed if they return to their home country. Asylum is a form of protection our government may grant to someone fleeing their country because they fear they will be harmed based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This area of immigration law is very complicated but is essential to those fleeing their countries in search of safety.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) builds the capacity of immigration advocates to assist immigrants in their claims for asylum in order to provide more immigrants with a meaningful chance at justice. As experts in the field, the ILRC publishes The Essentials of Asylum Law, a manual which provides a thorough review of asylum law with practice tips. In addition, the ILRC hosts several webinars on asylum law and emerging issues. We also support practitioners in their specific cases through our Attorney of the Day (AOD) technical assistance service.
Letter to USCIS on Policy Manual Changes to Physical Presence Requirement for Asylee/Refugee Adjustment
Advocating for and Representing Clients with Mental Illness in Detained Immigration Removal Proceedings
A Framework for Analysis: The Impact of Firm Resettlement and Dual Nationality on Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
This webinar will cover withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). It will discuss the differences between asylum, statutory and CAT withholding of removal, and CAT deferral of removal and review the current case law and recent developments. It will also provide tips to help argue for withholding or CAT as an alternative in an asylum case as well as prepare standalone withholding or CAT claim for clients who are asylum-barred or otherwise ineligible.
Andrew joined the ILRC in May 2019 as a Staff Attorney focusing on immigrant youth issues. Prior to joining the ILRC, he worked at Staten Island Legal Services representing clients in a variety of affirmative and defensive immigration matters. Previously, Andrew worked at the Unaccompanied Minors Program of Catholic Charities Community Services in New York, representing detained and released unaccompanied minors in removal defense.
Andrew received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he participated in the Center for Applied Legal Studies Clinic. Andrew earned his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in Political Economy of Industrial Societies. Andrew is admitted to the bar in New Jersey and New York. He is fluent in French and Spanish with some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, and Arabic.
Priscilla Olivarez is a Policy Attorney and Strategist based in San Antonio, Texas. In her role with the ILRC, Priscilla works alongside other Texas advocates to develop and promote local and state policies that protect the dignity of immigrant communities. Prior to joining the ILRC, Priscilla was a Managing Attorney at American Gateways (AG), a nonprofit organization that provides direct legal services in immigration matters. While at AG, Priscilla focused her efforts on representing and assisting individuals who were in immigration detention. She helped manage the organization's Legal Orientation Program, providing assistance to unrepresented individuals in immigration detention, as well as its National Qualified Representative Program (NQRP), which provides legal representation to individuals deemed mentally incompetent in immigration proceedings. Priscilla also provided direct representation to individuals in detention, with a focus on advocacy for individuals with mental disabilities or other heightened vulnerabilities. Priscilla has represented clients before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Priscilla's other advocacy experience includes working abroad, providing legal support to survivors of human trafficking in the Philippines. Priscilla has also advocated on behalf of survivors of domestic violence and volunteered near the Texas-Mexico border representing unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings. Outside of her immigration work, Priscilla has advocated for fair housing for vulnerable populations, and worked to coordinate a national research study that examined racial discrimination in the housing market.
Priscilla is a graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, Texas, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.