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Trump Administration Travel Ban and Bona Fide Relationships: The Supreme Court Speaks


Speaker(s): Christina Sinha, Elica Vafaie, Zahra Billoo
Recorded on: Jul. 12, 2017
PLI Program #: 223467

Christina Sinha co-leads the National Security and Civil Rights Program. Utilizing a combination of impact litigation, direct legal services, and policy reform, Christina represents African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AAMEMSA) community members who are caught up in the post-9/11 national security apparatus. She particularly focuses on the entanglement of the national security, criminal justice, and immigration systems. Christina has previously worked with the National Security and Civil Rights Program as a staff attorney, Iranian American Bar Association Fellow, and law clerk.

Prior to rejoining Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Christina worked as a public defender in Bakersfield, California, where she represented hundreds of clients charged with a range of criminal law violations and conducted seven jury trials.

Christina graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she served as a co-director of the Civil Rights Outreach Project (CROP) clinic. She was also a member of the Iraqi Refugee Assistant Project clinic; the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law and Policy; the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, & Justice; Law Students for Justice in Palestine; and the Women of Color Collective.

In addition, Christina has a LL.M degree, awarded with merit, in International Criminal Law and Armed Conflict from the University of Nottingham, School of Law in the United Kingdom. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Riverside in Political Science.


Elica’s work has focused on immigrant rights, national security, nonprofit capacity building, and cross-movement building.

Prior to joining Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Elica worked as the supervising attorney to establish the University of California Undocumented Legal Services Center providing free immigration legal services and know your rights training to mixed status UC students and their families across California.

She was the Project Director of the One Nation Initiative at the California Community Foundation (CCF) in Los Angeles where she managed the first philanthropic program in Southern California to support Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian community civic engagement, policy advocacy, as well as nonprofit capacity building. At CCF, Elica also supported the Civic Engagement Department’s efforts around immigrant integration and immigrant rights.

Elica received her B.A. from UC Irvine and Sciences Po, Paris. She received her J.D from UC Davis School of Law, where she was active in the Immigration Law Clinic, Middle Eastern South Asian Law Student Association, and was a UC Human Rights Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Elica is an alum of the Rockwood Leadership Institute and a 2015-2016 German Marshall Memorial Fellow.