Conchita Cruz: Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) Co-Director & Co-Founder

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My Native Admission Statement: I am a relentless advocate. When presented with a problem, I see it as a challenge to come up with a creative solution. My goal is to use the power that comes along with my U.S. citizenship and my education to fight for the rights of refugees and immigrants.

How did you get into the industry?:

I am the daughter of a formerly undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, and a Cuban asylum seeker who came to the United States as an unaccompanied minor. From a young age, immigration issues were all around me as family members and friends struggled with whether to get on a raft to flee Cuba, or travel to the Mexico-U.S. border to cross the Rio Grande in search of a better life. That experience led me to the immigrants’ rights movement, where I worked as an organizer, interpreter, and on one occasion as a Spanish-language radio personality in South Carolina. I thought I could make a difference in government, and worked at both the federal and state level to advance immigrants’ rights issues. But after it became clear that large scale reform of our immigration system was many years away, I decided to go to law school to work on cases one at a time, help families navigate our broken immigration system, and change the law through the courts.

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