The Legal Journey Pathway includes:

Approximately 1.5 million undocumented children live in the U.S., and one in four children in the U.S. (almost 18 million) live with at least one immigrant parent. About 2.2 million of those children traveled to the U.S, alone or accompanied by a parent or guardian. Almost half of undocumented students over the age of 5 do not speak English well or at all. These children face a long and difficult legal process to obtain immigration relief for themselves and for their families. Many immigrant students also encounter fear and uncertainty from constantly changing immigration policies and anti-immigrant rhetoric. It is critical that schools and educators learn how to best support these students and properly respond to questions from students and families about immigration issues.

What are the types of immigration detention that children may have experienced, and what immigration relief options do they have? What are the various immigration policies impacting these students? How can educators work to stop the school-to-deportation pipeline? Drawing from law, policy, and statistics, this pathway will discuss the answers to these questions, explain the legal process and challenges facing these students, and explore how educators and school staff can best support students as they navigate the U.S. education and immigration systems. Participants will learn about the rights of immigrant student and the immigration court process. Through this, you will gain an understanding of what your students are experiencing. You will develop tools to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for your students so they can thrive and feel supported in school.

The Legal Journey Pathway is created and facilitated by Natasha Quiroga. Natasha has spent the past 20 years advocating for immigrant children, youth, and families as a lawyer, fundraiser, and executive director. Most recently, she was Director of the Parental Readiness and Empowerment Program (PREP) and Senior Counsel in the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. There, she scaled the program across the country and collaborated with organizations and school districts to ensure families in under-resourced areas have access to learn more about their children’s education rights related to special education, English Learners, school discipline, and family engagement. Natasha has also led FloresSettlement Agreement monitoring visits to family and children’s detention facilities and managed pro bono engagement to support separated parents during the 2018 family separation crisis. Natasha served as the first full-time Executive Director of Escuela Bolivia (now Educación Para Nuestro Futuro) in Arlington, Virginia, and advised state and local education agencies on compliance with federal education laws at an education law firm.

Natasha received her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and a Master's in International Politics with a concentration in Children and Youth Development from American University School of International Service. She received her B.B.A. and B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Natasha is fluent in Spanish and is licensed to practice in New York.



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