My advocacy has earned me a positive reputation as a fierce advocate for immigrants’ rights. I have been committed to advancing the rights of immigrants for many years. My dedication to immigrants’ rights motivated me to develop an immigration law practice in California & New Mexico.
I have represented clients in all stages of litigation including numerous trials and appeals. Previously, I served as an Assistant Public Defender in Santa Fe, NM. Many of my clients were Mexican & Central American immigrants, including indigenus migrants from Latin America. My work as Immigration Counsel for the NM Public Defender Dept. included successfully addressing violations of equal protection and due process for non-citizen clients in the New Mexico criminal courts. My heavy caseload required me to appear in court almost daily for various hearings and I am very comfortable working in a court room as well as working with policy makers and government officials.
My advocacy includes presenting information, training, and education to diverse groups including attorneys, non-citizens, students & immigrants' rights activists. I have been invited to speak at universities, conferences, community organizing events, classes and the humblest of venues. I have advocated for immigrants' rights with policy makers and through invtation with media. Also, I have been a presenter at CLE seminars where I was invited to speak on immigration consequences of criminal convictions for the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NMCDLA) & ethics & professionalism for the State Bar of New Mexico Immigration Section.
In 2011, I assisted the AILA Advocacy Dept. in Washington DC in collecting stories for the report, Immigration Enforcement Off Target: Minor Offenses With Major Consequences published on August 16, 2011. I have also published articles on Secured Communities, the "polimigra" and "crimmigration" issues for the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Assoc. (NMCDLA) at their invitation. I have educated local judges on issues of bond, departure control orders, immigration parole and other matters that are relevant to protecting the rights of immigrant clients in the criminal justice system.
My personal research interests include immigration & border studies, in depth study of the intersection of immigration and crime, human trafficking laws, migrants’ rights, indigenous rights, and international human rights law. My research was published by The United Nations Crime & Research Institute (UNICRI) & The Max Planck Institute in an article I co-authored entitled, Human Trafficking on the U.S. – Mexico Border: Is There a Nexus with Immigration Policies? Most recently I have written about indigenous migrants from Mexico in the United States and the legal issues that arise for these transnational groups. I have also published articles on "crimmigration" issues for the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Asscoiation.
My resume can’t fully describe more than twenty years of volunteerism and community service work in California & New Mexico. In the Mission District of San Francisco, I worked as a community organizer, educator and performing artist. Before working as a legal advocate I served Latino communities as a bilingual teacher in Montebello and Whittier, California. While working as a teacher in Los Angeles County, I received an award of recognition for my community organizing work against crime and environmental injustice in La Puente and Whittier from Los Angeles County Supervisor, Gloria Molina. In New Mexico I have volunteered with Los Amigos de Las Mujeres de Juarez and served on the N.M. Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force. Also, I was recently asked to serve as a Board Member for New Mexico immigrants' rights non--profit organizations & on school boards serving immigrant communities.
This enduring dedication to immigrant communities is also rooted in my own personal identity and experience. My mother is an immigrant from Mexico and my stepmother is an immigrant from China. I have lived in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Europe and Mexico City. My experiences living in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Mexico and Texas have also deepened my understanding of the issues facing immigrant communities in the U.S. and I am passionate about achieving positive results for all clients. Clients can relate to me and they trust me. My clients know that I am committed to winning their cases.