The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides important immigration benefits to immigrant domestic violence survivors who have been abused by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member. Join us to learn about the eligibility requirements to self-petition for VAWA benefits and how to screen clients.
Sally Kinoshita is the ILRC’s Deputy Director based in San Francisco. In this role, she weaves together more than 20 years of nonprofit experience in immigration law, capacity building, advocacy, program development, and collaborative facilitation. Sally has provided technical assistance, trainings, and facilitation to groups on local, state, and national levels and has co-authored a number of publications including The U Visa: Obtaining Status for Immigrant Victims of Crime (ILRC), The VAWA Manual: Immigration Relief for Abused Immigrants (ILRC), Immigration Benchbook for Juvenile and Family Court Judges (ILRC), and Application of Protection Remedies for Victims of Domestic Abuse, Human Trafficking, and Crime under U.S. Law to Persons Physically Present in the U.S. Territories (Family Violence Prevention Fund).
Prior to working at the ILRC, Sally was a Staff Attorney at Asian Law Caucus and a consultant with ASISTA, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and Family Violence Prevention Fund/Futures Without Violence. During law school, she worked with the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights, ACLU of Northern California, and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.
Sally is currently a member of the Leadership Council of Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) and has served as a Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Section Advisory Board Member and Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC) Steering Committee Member.
Sally earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where she majored in sociology. She is admitted to the California bar.
Ariel Brown joined the ILRC in April 2017. After five years in private practice at a well-respected immigration firm in Sacramento, Schoenleber & Waltermire, PC, Ariel brings extensive practical experience to the ILRC. She has experience filing numerous immigration applications and regularly appearing before USCIS, ICE, and EOIR, with cases spanning the areas of removal defense, family-based adjustment of status and consular processing, DACA, naturalization, SIJS, U visas, and VAWA. She was also involved in establishing Sacramento’s rapid response network to respond to immigration enforcement action, and served as an American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)-USCIS liaison.
Ariel contributes to the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day legal technical assistance program, as well as writing and updating practice advisories and manuals and presenting on family-based topics for ILRC webinars.
Prior to joining the ILRC, Ariel also briefly volunteered with the International Institute of the Bay Area in Oakland, and Catholic Charities of the East Bay in Richmond. In law school, Ariel was a student advocate with the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, assisting with cancellation of removal cases for indigent noncitizens, and an editor for the Journal of International Law and Policy.
Ariel earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis, and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in anthropology. Ariel is admitted to the state bar in California.
Catherine Seitz, Legal Director - International Institute of the Bay Area
Catherine Seitz is the Legal Director at the International Institute of the Bay Area. She is a former Chair for the Northern California chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and co-author of the ILRC’s U Visa Manual. Catherine has a J.D. from U.C. Hastings and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from U.C. Berkeley. She has been working in the field of immigration law since 1990 starting out as a legal assistant and then a BIA Accredited Representative before her admission to the California Bar in December of 2001. Before joining the International Institute in February of 2019, she worked at Legal Services for Children as their Legal Director and Bay Area Legal Aid as their Regional Immigration Coordinator where she focused on immigration relief for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Prior to that, she worked at Canal Alliance, the International Institute of the East Bay, and the private immigration law firm of Simmons & Ungar. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.