Two college graduates will serve as IJC’s 2023 Community Fellows, spending the next two years providing individualized legal screenings and representation in immigration benefits applications to underserved immigrants.
The Fellows — Sofia Aslan and Cesar Paz — were selected for their dedication to immigrant justice and their backgrounds in direct service. Both are fluent in Spanish.
“We are thrilled to welcome our two new Community Fellows,” said Jojo Annobil, Executive Director of IJC. “Sofia and Cesar will utilize their personal and professional experience to help immigrants who otherwise cannot afford quality representation.”
Sofia, a Wesleyan University graduate, is passionate about community engagement, immigration advocacy, and using language to enact social change. She has been placed with the Volunteers of Legal Service’s Immigration Project where she will work to support immigrant students and young adults.
A graduate of the York College of Pennsylvania, Cesar said he is excited to begin his career with Immigrant Justice Corps as the organization’s goals align with his. Cesar will be an in-placed Fellow, working out of the IJC office to provide immigration services to community members across New York City.
Community Fellows become U.S. Department of Justice partial Accredited Representatives, which allows them to represent clients before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Since 2014, IJC Community Fellows have filed over 6,000 fee waiver applications and saved low-income clients nearly $4 million in fees and have won 95% of cases closed.
This new cohort will join the 2022 class of four Community Fellows, already in the field.