During the summer of 2012 I interned at Journey's End Refugee Services, a community-based organization providing services to Buffalo's immigrant population including refugee resettlement, immigration law, education, housing and employment. Every year over 1,500 refugees make Buffalo their new home, and each one has been the victim of persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
As a law clerk, I was given the opportunity to provide direct legal services to refugees from all corners of the world. Primarily, I spent my summer assisting refugees with green card applications, family reunification petitions, naturalization applications and interviews, and was even able to file an asylum case of my own.
The experiences that I had and the relationships that I built provided insight into the nature of a lifetime of inflicted oppression, something that affected me profoundly. I am extremely grateful to the Buffalo Human Rights Center Fellowship, which afforded me the opportunity to make a small difference in the lives of these new Americans as well as gain critical experience in the field of immigration law.