Senior Program Associate, LOPC
Before joining the Acacia Center for Justice, Jessica worked at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) where she provided direct legal services to low-income immigrants in a broad range of immigration matters including, family and humanitarian-based petitions, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and DACA and Advanced Parole. Prior to that she served as a legal volunteer with Al Otro Lado in Tijuana, Mexico, providing Know Your Rights group presentations and 1-1 consultations to asylum seekers. She also served as a legal intern with CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project in Dilley Texas, where she assisted women detainees on Know Your Rights and prepared them for their credible fear interviews. She has also received competency training to work with vulnerable indigenous migrants facing deportation using trauma-informed approaches. She taught Ethnic Studies for over 14 years before becoming an immigration attorney. She's traveled to several countries all over the world on educational delegations meeting with different community groups around the issues of migration/refugees, food justice, land rights, and climate justice.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Chicana/o Studies and History, from Loyola Marymount University, and her master's degree in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. She has her juris doctor from Peoples College of Law. She is an urban farmer, a soccer player and plays traditional son jarocho music.