My name is Lupita Jimenez-Hand and I am a 3L. I am not only excited to graduate, but also nervous of what the future holds for me. Unquestionably, I look forward to working in the immigration law field. Prior to law school, while working at an immigration law firm in Cicero, client testimonies of heart-wrenching separation, dire financial circumstances, and language barriers were eerily similar to the ones told to me by my father throughout my childhood.
As a Latina from an immigrant family, my interest in immigrant rights developed through my past work experiences and from hearing the struggles my own family members went through to obtain their permanent residency.
As an extern at NIJC, I worked with unaccompanied children who were applying for asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) or other forms of relief. After working with the children at the shelter, I became more sympathetic to the kids’ plight. It always brought me joy to hear that a child was reunited with their family. Listening to the harrowing stories of the kids’ journey to find their family in the U.S. or women who were victims of violence inspired me to focus on assisting this group of individuals in obtaining immigrant rights.
I look forward to helping in whatever way possible at the South Texas Family Residential Center in the coming week. I also anticipate learning from these strong women and the asylum process. My goal is to lend my voice for others and grow from this experience.