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Working with Domestic Violence Immigrant Survivors: The Intersection of Basic Family Law, Immigration, Benefits, and Housing Issues in California 2019

Author(s): Protima Pandey, Morgan M. Weibel, Cindy C. Liou
Practice Area: Immigration, Pro Bono
Published: Apr 2019
PLI Item #: 252584
CHB Spine #: 145

Cindy C. Liou, Esq. is currently the State Policy Director at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a national non-profit working to provide legal counsel to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the United States. Prior to this role, she served as the Deputy Director of Legal Services at KIND. Previously, she was the Director of the Human Trafficking Project at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, where she also co-counseled several civil litigation cases on behalf of human trafficking survivors, and represented survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, and hate crimes. She continues to provide consulting and training on topics ranging from human trafficking, domestic violence lethality, to best practices on how to collaborate in cross-disciplinary teams to support survivors of violence. She is also formerly the Co-Chair of the Policy Committee of the Freedom Network to Empower Trafficked and Enslaved Persons (USA), a network of over 40 individual and member agencies representing trafficking survivors, and the winner of the 2013 San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking Modern Day Abolitionist Award for Policy and Advocacy. Cindy is also the co-author of several articles and the second edition of the manual Representing Survivors of Human Trafficking. Before working at API Legal Outreach, Cindy handled a variety of pro bono cases at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, ranging from asylum to police misconduct cases. Cindy is a graduate from Stanford Law School and the University of Washington.

Protima has been an advocate for gender justice and is the newly appointed Director for the Office of Women’s Policy at Santa Clara County. Working for the County Executive, her office works to bring a gender lens to policy decision-making, building a pipeline to leadership, and demand equity in governance. Prior to that, she was the Managing Attorney and Regional Counsel for Immigration at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she started as a staff attorney litigating on family law and immigration cases for survivors of domestic violence, as well as allied legal relief in areas of public benefits, housing preservation, and economic justice. Most recently she co-counseled on a precedent setting case in California, Kumar v. Kumar, a complex immigration and family law cross-over case. She also led the firm-wide post-graduate Fellowship program to shepherd and develop fellowship proposals through the national selection process. She is also one of 17 lawyers nation-wide appointed as a Commissioner to the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence to work on issues impacting delivery of legal services to survivors, where she is also a litigation skills faculty. She also serves as faculty for Practicing Law Institute in San Francisco, training on issues relating to housing rights for immigrants and representation of domestic violence survivors in family courts as well as on understanding personal bias, working with diverse populations, and on domestic violence awareness. Being passionate about giving back to the legal profession, Protima has served as the Chair of San Mateo County Bar Association's Diversity Committee (2014), has been integral to the work of BayLegal's diversity initiative, and the Racial Justice Initiative. Prior to joining BayLegal, Protima was the Public Policy specialist for California Partnership to End Domestic Violence in Sacramento, California where she worked on legislation and advocacy on behalf of agencies serving survivors and their families.

Education: Washington University in St. Louis, School of Law, 2001; National Law School of India University Practice Areas: Family Law, Immigration Law, Housing protections for DV survivors.

Bar Admissions: California, 2003; India, 1999

Awards: South Asian Bar Association Northern California Community Impact Award (2014), South Asian Bar Association Northern California Foundation Public Interest Attorney of the year (2012), Woman of Color Scholarship from National Network to End Domestic Violence (2007)

Morgan Weibel is a graduate of the University of California Hastings College of the Law and the University of California, Berkeley. As a Supervising Immigration Attorney, Morgan leads Tahirih’s Baltimore office. She joined the Tahirih Justice Center in March 2010 as a staff attorney processing applications for U and T visas, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, affirmative and defensive asylum and for relief under the Violence Against Women’s Act. She is the current Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Liaison Committee to the Baltimore Immigration Court and sits on the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force’s Victim Services Committee as well as, the Baltimore City Bar Association’s Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee. Prior to working at the Tahirih Justice Center, Morgan served as a Graduate Research Fellow at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) in San Francisco, California where she drafted a protocol for the investigation of femicides (gender motivated killings of women) and assisted professor Karen Musalo in updating sections of her course book related to asylum based on membership in a particular social group. As a law student, Morgan clerked in the Trial Chambers of the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Morgan served as the Scholarly Publications Editor on the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review and has published on the Supreme Court’s Criminal Cases, war crimes and gang-related asylum claims in the United States. Prior to law school, Morgan worked for three years as a paralegal at the Law Offices of Robert B. Jobe, a San Francisco-based firm focusing on asylum and deportation defense. She also interned with the Immigration and Refugee Services Department of the Spanish Red Cross in Granada, Spain and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in Washington DC. Morgan speaks Spanish and is originally from California.