On September 19, Professors Jennifer Koh and Sabrina Rivera, and Western State student Nathalie Cedeno, were recognized by the Santa Ana City Council for their efforts – along with a coalition of other attorneys and advocates – to support the City’s efforts to establish an Immigration Legal Defense Fund. Earlier this year, the Santa Ana City Council allocated $65,000 towards the creation of a legal defense fund that will support efforts to provide legal services to Santa Ana residents facing deportation, the first of its kind in Orange County. The recognition was presented at the city council meeting by Councilmember Vincent Sarmiento.
Immigration Clinic Staff Attorney Sabrina Rivera recently presented at the Hispanic National Bar Association’s (HNBA) Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, attended by more than 700 attorneys and legal professionals. She served as a panelist in a seminar entitled, “Stand Up, Fight Back! Advocating for Vulnerable Immigrant Populations Through Community Lawyering Under the Trump Administration,” which addressed the current administration’s executive orders and immigration enforcement priorities, community lawyering principles, and advocacy tactics for vulnerable immigrant populations. HNBA is the largest national association of Latino legal professionals, comprised of lawyers, law professors, students, legal professionals, state and federal judges, legislators, and bar affiliates operating across the country.
Immigration Clinic Staff Attorney Sabrina Rivera delivered the keynote address for California State University Dominguez Hills’ Fourth Annual Freshman Convocation on Friday, August 25 to over 1300 incoming college students, addressing the importance of strategically navigating their academic careers and involvement in social justice careers. Other guest speakers included CSU Dominguez Hills President Willie J. Hagan, deans, administrators, faculty and alumni.
Staff Attorney Sabrina Rivera served as a panelist at the Immigration Attorney Panel held at Whittier Law School on November 7. The panel discussed careers and networking for law students within Immigration Law. Other participating firms included Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP; Law Offices of Maciel & Ayala, LLP; Law Office of Noreen Barcena; and My Advocate Group.
On March 2, Professors Jennifer Koh and Sabrina Rivera conducted a training for the juvenile delinquency and dependency units of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office on immigration law options for children. Immigration Clinic students Elizabeth Fernandez, Briahna Chuvac and Alfred Napoles also attended the training, which addressed the obligations of public defenders to advise noncitizen clients on immigration law consequences of juvenile adjudications, as well as immigration law remedies potentially available for immigrant youth.
Western State Immigration Clinic Staff Attorney Sabrina Rivera will be serving as the Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Immigration Law Section for the 2016 term. Last year, she served as Secretary-Treasurer for the section, and has organized numerous section meetings to address diverse immigration law topics relevant to the legal community. She will be serving the section along with section board members Belen Gomez (Law Offices of Belen Gomez, formerly with the Western State Immigration Clinic) and Karel Raba (Holborn Law, A Professional Corporation).
On September 30, 2015, Professors Jennifer Koh and Sabrina Rivera, along with Western State law student Alfonso Maldonado, spoke during a concurrent session at the Latino/Latina Critical Legal Theory Conference, a national conference attended primarily by law professors devoted to social justice and critical theory. They spoke on immigration relief and enforcement, and were joined by Professors Rachel Settlage (Wayne State Law) and Nina Rabin (University of Arizona Law), as well as attorney Katie Traverso (American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California).