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Rachel is one of ILRC’s staff attorneys based in San Francisco. Rachel focuses on immigrant youth issues, including unaccompanied minors and immigrant youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Rachel provides technical assistance and trainings to immigration and state court attorneys, social workers, and judges. She works on statewide and national policy that affects the rights of immigrant youth and is frequently consulted for her expertise in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Rachel co-authored the ILRC’s publication Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Other Immigration Options for Children and Youth.
Prior to joining the ILRC, Rachel represented detained and released unaccompanied minors in removal defense and led a project focusing on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status at Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project in Los Angeles. While at Esperanza, Rachel also performed "Know Your Rights" work in southern California immigration detention centers for minors. Previously, Rachel worked as an associate at Paul Hastings, LLP and volunteered as a Child Advocate for unaccompanied minors.
Rachel earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis, where she was a member of the Immigration Law Clinic and worked on complex deportation defense cases and detention issues. She received her undergraduate degree from Westmont College, where she double-majored in philosophy and political science. Rachel is admitted to the bar in California. She is conversant in Spanish.
Carla Gomez is a Senior Staff Attorney in San Francisco where she focuses on the intersection of criminal and immigration law, including post-conviction relief. Carla has over 20 years of criminal defense experience as both a federal and county public defender and has extensive experience as an immigration defense attorney.
Prior to coming to the ILRC, Carla started her career as a Federal Public Defender in San Diego where she tried over 15 federal felony trials, argued several times before the Ninth Circuit resulting in published opinions including U.S. v. Ramirez, 273 F.3d 903, (9th Cir. 2001). Carla then became a San Francisco Public Defender where she practiced for over 15 years as a felony attorney, and, in 2017, she was part of the team that spearheaded the Immigration Unit.
Carla has successfully defended the most challenging cases in immigration court where her clients with serious felonies have won asylum, withholding, the Convention Against Torture and readjustment of status. Her successful post-conviction relief practice throughout California including Monterey, San Mateo, San Joaquin, Sonoma, Kern, Fresno, Sacramento, and Pasadena has saved lawful permanent residents with aggravated felonies from deportation and allowed immigrants to adjust their status.
Carla earned her undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco where she participated in the United Nations Working Group on Migrant Farm Workers in Geneva. Carla is fluent in Spanish and conversant in French.