FWD features recent Justice Bus trip to Vallejo.
Today, we are delighted to bring you a special guest blog post by FWD.us on their recent Justice Bus trip to Vallejo. FWD.us is an organization founded by world-class technologists such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Marissa Mayer to support comprehensive immigration reform and policies. A big thank you to Fenwick & West LLP and LinkedIn for joining us in bringing vital legal assistance where it’s needed most!
We can’t thank FWD.us enough for featuring our DreamSF Fellow, Miguel Castillo! Check out this amazing read!
By: Katie Aragon, Silicon Valley Director of FWD.us, and Justice Bus Rider
Have you ever been on a “Justice Bus”? Well I have, last Wednesday, and it was awesome.
Because how else would you describe watching dozens of high powered lawyers and legal professionals from Silicon Valley and San Francisco law firms and companies help 23 hard-working members of our community become U.S. citizens, or apply for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)?
The day-long trip, which sent the lawyers and legal professionals on a bus from Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and San Francisco over the Bay Bridge to Vallejo, CA, was organized by OneJustice, a statewide non-profit organization that brings life-changing legal help to those in need by transforming the civil legal aid system.
In many rural or low-income communities like Vallejo, legal need far outstrips supply. For example, in Solano County, there is on average ONE attorney for every 77 low-income individuals. Because our communities are safer and more secure when folks are protected under programs like DACA or are naturalized U.S. citizens, the work done by OneJustice and its partners, like the International Institute of the Bay Area, is incredibly important.
Fenwick & West LLP and LinkedIn attorney volunteers at the Justice Bus DACA and immigration clinic on September 30th in Vallejo.
One of the highlights of the Justice Bus clinic was the building of bonds between communities. I met Miguel (featured above), a DACA beneficiary who is now able to give back to his community as a DreamSF Fellow at OneJustice, where he works with the organization’s Pro Bono Justice Program, and helps organize free mobile legal clinics. I also watched as Mike, a lawyer with Fenwick & West LLP, helped Armando*, an elderly Giants fan, fill out his citizenship application. Armando has been in the U.S. since the 1980s and is a fixture at his local church.
At the end of the day, we helped 23 Bay Area immigrants like Miguel and Armando apply for U.S. citizenship or DACA.
Meeting new friends like Miguel, who are so extraordinary but are only able to work today because of DACA, reminded me of the urgent need to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The immigration system today is deeply flawed, and our country will benefit economically and culturally from fixing it. That is why we look to Congress and the Senate to work with us to pass comprehensive immigration reform for families and businesses in 2017.
*Name changed for confidentiality
Original Article posted on FWD.us blog on 10/15/15; reposted here with the permission of FWD and Katie Aragon.