Overcoming Barriers to Gaining Asylum for Trans Immigrants

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Under the Trump administration, the legal avenues available to undocumented immigrants have narrowed significantly, but asylum remains a viable option for many LGBTQ immigrants. Trans asylum-applicants often have strong claims to asylum, but must overcome a unique set of challenges in order to win this life changing legal status. In this presentation attorneys from Oasis Legal Services will provide an overview of U.S. immigration law, how trans folks can qualify for asylum, best practices in representing trans clients, and a breakdown of how to overcome common obstacles to winning asylum.

Learning objectives

Understand the elements of asylum Identify potentially-eligible trans immigrants

About the presenters

Ari Jones, Esq.

Ari works as the Pride Law Fund, Tom Steel Fellow for 2018-2019 with Oasis. Th graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law in 2018. During law school, Ari interned with Catholic Charities of the East Bay, California Rural Legal Assistance, and the USCIS Ombudsman’s Office. At Oasis, Ari represents clients applying for lawful permanent residency and works to connect clients to various social services and support networks related to employment, housing, and mental health.

Rachel Kafele, Esq.

Rachel has served as the Managing Attorney since 2017 when Oasis Legal Services opened its doors. Rachel is a graduate of New York University School of Law. Prior to Oasis, she practiced immigration law at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant where she helped run the LGBTQ/HIV Asylum Program and supervised pro bono attorneys and law students. Rachel also worked as an Assistant Public Defender for three years in Miami-Dade County. During law school she interned for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and Make the Road New York, an immigrant rights advocacy organization.