UMass Law Alumna Isabel Saavedra joins family immigrant detention pro bono project

Serving as contract attorney, Isabel Saavedra '14 will assist women and children detained at Dilley, Texas detention facility

UMass Law Alumna Isabel Saavedra '14 has joined the CARA Pro Bono Project to assist the women and children detained at the Dilley, Texas detention facility (Southern Texas Family Residential Center). As a contract attorney for Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), she will assist in project management and the coordination of the program's volunteers.

At UMass Law, Isabel Saavedra was selected to receive the Association of Corporate Counsel's Northeast Chapter 2014 Law Student Ethics Award. The award, given to one student from each of twelve law schools in the Northeast, honors students who hold a true comprehension of the ethical challenges faced in the law, have applied their knowledge of ethics in a clinical program, and are committed to professional ethical behavior in their careers.

Isabel earned this award for her commitment to the ethical practice of law demonstrated throughout the year while working at UMass Law's Immigration Law Clinic. At the clinic, Isabel represented a mother and her adult daughter in separate deportation proceedings before the Immigration Court. Both were victims of domestic violence and had been residing in the United States since 1998. Neither had disclosed to the other that they were victims of abuse. While upholding her duty of confidentiality to each client, she successfully obtained the requested relief from the Immigration Judge and both clients are now lawful permanent residents.

After earning her Juris Doctor, Isabel Saavedra worked at the Immigration Legal Services of Long Island (ILSOLI) in New York assisting immigrants in all areas of family-based Immigration Law. At ILSOLI, she gained wide knowledge and experience helping clients, both detained and non-detained, with citizenship applications, adjustment of status, discretionary waivers, survivor of domestic violence relief, unaccompanied children relief, and cancellation of removal.

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, are collectively known as CARA. CARA was created in response to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) expansion of its family detention at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) and the Karnes Residential Center. 

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