We are excited to announce ASAP co-founder Conchita Cruz has received a two-year fellowship from the Skadden Foundation and is back on staff. Over the last year, Conchita clerked for Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga in the Southern District of Florida. Prior to law school, Conchita worked in state and federal government, including as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado. Read more about Conchita here.
Conchita will be leading our effort to expand ASAP’s policy and advocacy initiatives. In this role, Conchita will design policy solutions and consult about the impact of legislative proposals on asylum seekers based on ASAP’s experience serving thousands of asylum-seeking families around the country.
Since returning to the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP), Conchita has worked closely with Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s office to bring to light the reality that tens of thousands of asylum seekers have wrongfully received deportation orders without an opportunity to present their cases in immigration court. Congressman Panetta was recently joined by dozens of his colleagues in Congress in sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions stressing the importance of ensuring asylum seekers have the opportunity to present their claims as is their right by law, and seeking to know how many asylum seekers have been deported without that chance since President Trump took office. To learn more about this issue, please read our policy report: “Denied a Day in Court.”