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Thu, Aug 29


DTLA Arts District

Wood Legal Group Supports: Crisis at the Border: How to Get Involved (1)

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Wood Legal Group Supports: Crisis at the Border: How to Get Involved (1)
Wood Legal Group Supports: Crisis at the Border: How to Get Involved (1)

Time & Location

Aug 29, 2019, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

DTLA Arts District, 411 S. Hewitt St., Los Angeles, CA 90013

About the event

We the People US is a Los Angeles-based group that believes in the constitutional imperative of justice for all. Attorney Portia Wood will be moderating this conversation. Please join us for a fundraiser, reception, and Q+A on Monday, August 26 from 7-9pm, featuring Yliana Johansen-Méndez, Legal Services Director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center and Camila Alvarez, Managing Attorney for Deportation Defense Unit at Central American Resource Center (CARECEN-LA)

Ticket sales directly benefit the important, ongoing work of ImmDef, and CARECEN Ticket price includes a light reception.

Hear first hand-accounts of what is happening at the border from those with boots on the ground. Learn about different ways to take action and get involved, whatever your budget, time, and personal investment allows.


On June 26, 2019, the graphic image of the lifeless bodies of Oscar Ramirez and his infant daughter, Valeria, washed up on the shores of the Rio Grande, began to make the rounds on social media. Much like the 2015 photograph of three-year old Syrian Alyan Kurdi galvanized western society out of callous indifference, this image of father and daughter served as a stark symbol of what is currently happening at the border. This ongoing humanitarian crisis is one of the most critical issues of our time and we must not look away, we must take action, we must unite. Join us!

About the speakers:

Yliana Johansen-Méndez, Legal Services Director, Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Yliana Johansen-Méndez oversees ImmDef’s Children’s Representation Project, which serves over 600 unaccompanied minors per year, as well as the Family Unity Project which was launched in 2018 in response to the government’s inhumane zero-tolerance policy and the resulting separations of families at the border. After law school she was selected for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship, through which she paved the way for obtaining special immigrant juvenile status for abused, abandoned and neglected children through California family courts. Thereafter she was accepted to the highly competitive U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Honors Program, through which she served at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). After almost five years in government service at EOIR and at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, she returned to non-profit immigration removal defense as part of ImmDef’s leadership team. Since joining ImmDef she has taught at UCLA Law School, and served as an expert witness for the ACLU in challenging the government’s immigration practices.

Camila Alvarez, Managing Attorney, CARECEN’s Deportation Defense Unit

Camila Alvarez graduated from Loyola Law School in 2015 and has been practicing immigration law since. Camila has been CARECEN’s managing attorney for the Deportation Defense Unit since May 2017. Prior to becoming a Managing Attorney, Camila was a Staff Attorney, representing unaccompanied minors, and worked for a brief period as a temporary associate at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy, specializing in removal defense and post-conviction relief. CARECEN’s Deportation Defense Unit focuses on direct representation for unaccompanied minors, individuals detained at the Adelanto Detention Facility, and non-detained adults and families in removal proceedings.


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