- The different immigration offices and functions
- Who noncitizens interact with in the immigration system
- Avenues to immigration relief
- A review of key immigration forms and documents, and
- Local Resources
ABOUT CARECEN AND PRESENTERS:
The Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) is a 39-year active organization that provides legal, educational, and social services to empower immigrants through services such as:
CARECEN works to better the lives of those who seek to fully integrate into our communities.
“It is our duty to create a region, state and nation that tells immigrants that home is here. We advocate for just, equitable laws and policies that protect immigrants and reflect the value they add to our communities across Long Island, New York, and the entire country.”
Karla was born in El Salvador and is a first generation immigrant. She is an International Baccalaureate alumni and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in international studies from SUNY Oneonta, where she graduated with department honors and dedicated much of her research to human rights affairs. In the past she has volunteered at the Consulate General of El Salvador where she worked first-hand with the Salvadoran diaspora, in addition she has also interned at the United Nations and has worked as a Dialogue Leader at the office of equity and inclusion at SUNY Oneonta.
In her position at CARECEN, Karla assists the Long Island immigrant community in navigating resources, services and programs available to them throughout the region, with a focus on low-income immigrants who are particularly vulnerable to socioeconomic disadvantages.
Emerson was born in El Salvador, emigrated to the United States with his family in the early 1990s, and settled on Long Island. Emerson holds a B.A. from Columbia University, and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. Emerson’s experience working in immigration started in his first year of law school when he volunteered with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project. He continued advocating for immigrants through four service trips to the family detention center in Dilley, Texas, and internships with Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) and Human Rights First. Emerson worked with Immigrant Justice Corps’ Adults with Children project where he represented underserved vulnerable women and children facing removal to Central American countries where they fear gang and domestic violence. Emerson continues to serve the Long Island immigrant community as a supervising attorney for CARECEN’s removal defense team.
Before law school, Megan worked with noncitizen survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Raleigh, North Carolina on humanitarian immigration petitions. This work led her to law school, where, through internships with the Bronx Defenders and Public Defender Service of D.C., she became interested in removal defense and post-final order relief, particularly where criminal convictions are/were the grounds for removal. She believes that no noncitizen, regardless of criminal history, deserves to be deported.
Julia Miller joined the removal defense team at CARECEN, NY in September 2022 as an IJC Justice Fellow from the Class of 2022. Julia graduated from New York Law School in May of 2022 and is currently pending admission to the New York State Bar. Prior to beginning her fellowship, Julia worked with the Legal Aid Society first as a NYS Pro Bono Scholar with their immigrant Youth Project, and then as a law graduate.
She previously worked with unaccompanied children as an 1L legal intern with Safe Passage Project and during her 2L year with the NYLS Immigration Law and Litigation Clinic. Julia joined Catholic Charities’ Immigration Special Projects Unit during her 2L summer. Before starting at the Legal Aid Society, Julia was a research assistant to Distinguished Professor of Human Rights and Immigration Law, Lenni Benson.
Julia is very excited to be a part of the removal defense team and working alongside the talented and dedicated advocates at CARECEN-NY.
Andrea was born in Leon, Nicaragua and raised in Miami, FL. Andrea grew up around a rich culture in Miami and always knew she wanted to become involved in immigrant's rights work. For her undergraduate studies, Andrea moved to Tampa, FL where she received a Double Bachelors at the University of South Florida in Political Science and French. Andrea later moved to NY to attend Hofstra Law where she interned with Safe Passage Project and Urban Justice Center's - Domestic Violence Project. Andrea also participated in Hofstra Law's Deportation Defense Clinic where she was first exposed to both detained and non-detained clients.