Chelsea has been the Managing Attorney of the Border Action Team at the Florence Project since October 2021. The Border Action Team is a unique partnership between the Florence Project and the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. As the Managing Attorney, Chelsea has focused on guiding a team of attorneys and legal assistants providing critical legal orientation and education, direct representation, and strategic advocacy to asylum-seekers displaced at the Arizona/Sonora border.
Chelsea’s work with the Florence Project and immigration advocacy extends beyond her current role. Chelsea first came to the Florence Project in the summer of 2018 as the FIRRP-KBI Binational Program’s Legal Intern and later returned to start her career as an attorney in September 2020 as an Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellow for the Border Action Team. Chelsea graduated from UC Law San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings), where she was the first recipient of the Leo Martinez Award for Distinguished Community Service for her work in establishing an annual detention center advocacy trip. During law school, Chelsea completed internships and clinics all focused on immigration law and different forms of relief, including but not limited to: asylum, international fact-finding and cross-border studies, U-visa petitions, VAWA petitions, and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Prior to law school, Chelsea spent five years providing administrative and legal assistance to vulnerable populations in various legal settings, focusing on immigration, special education, and landlord-tenant law.
Chelsea draws inspiration from the countless immigration advocates and human rights activists that have come before her. Chelsea was first inspired to be an immigration attorney based on the experiences of her grandmother (a Holocaust survivor) and her mother-in-law (a Maya former asylee) as she sought to provide similar opportunities for others fleeing persecution. Most of all, Chelsea is inspired every day by her clients and their resiliency in the face of what feels like insurmountable obstacles to seeking protection.
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