Carolina Castaneda joined the ILRC in February of 2023. After ten years in private practice, seven of those running her own immigration firm in Merced, California, Carolina brings extensive practical experience to the ILRC. She has represented detained and non-detained individuals in removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review. She also has ample experience filing and representing clients before USCIS with cases spanning from the areas of DACA, advance parole, naturalization, SIJS, U visas, family-based adjustment of status, and consular processing. Carolina has also represented clients before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prior to joining the ILRC, Carolina worked at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), where she represented clients in removal proceedings and provided trainings to attorneys and staff. As an immigrant and Central Vally resident, Carolina strives to use her legal education and experience to positively impact, strengthen, and extend legal capacity in underserved immigrant communities.
Carolina received her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine, where she majored in Criminology, Law, and Society. Carolina is admitted to the State Bar of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is fluent in Spanish.