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Fernanda Palacios Herrera

Equal Justice Works Fellow for The Human Rights Initiative – Dallas, TX


How did you get your job?

I learned about the Equal Justice Works Immigration Summer Legal Corps through OCS. This position seemed perfect since I aspire to become an immigration attorney, but it was highly competitive. I am very happy I applied!

What do you like most about your job?

What I enjoyed the most about my fellowship is that I was able to serve women who have been victims of gender-based persecution and are now seeking asylum in the United States. These survivors have risked their lives and are now desperately seeking safety. Unfortunately, the clients I served have been placed in the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) program, which forces them to await their asylum case in Mexico. The majority of these people are now forced to live in tents on the streets of Mexico. Without an attorney, the asylum approval rate for those in the MPP program is only 0.5%.

Did your job change in a virtual workplace? How did you interact with your co-workers?

Even though my fellowship changed to fully remote I still had a great experience. The staff at Human Rights Initiative were very welcoming and always available for Zoom meetings anytime I had a question. I was able to interact with the entire team during our weekly staff meetings and met with my team, the Asylum Program, a couple of times per week. I am honored to have worked alongside likeminded individuals who are fighting for the rights of immigrants. I have now built a network in Dallas that will hopefully lead to great opportunities in the future!