Making It All Real: externship experience at CREEC

“Having the chance to extern at CREEC put the sensationalized world of docudrama crime and the legal system in a new light for me,” says Sophia Peterson Swarthmore College ‘23, “It made it all real, made the people real. And it also made me better understand the systemic nature of the problems as well as the many ways different people are fighting hard to address the problems.” For one week this January, CREEC had the honor of hosting two students from Swarthmore who were participating in the college’s Extern Program. This relatively short January externship experience has a job-shadowing focus. “CREEC has participated in this program since 2017,” says Co-executive Director Amy Robertson and Swarthmore alumna ’83, “and one of the best things about it is the multi-faceted exposure students get to various careers.” CREEC was fortunate to host Marième Diop, Swarthmore ’18, during an extended externship in 2017, and even more fortunate when she returned as a paralegal after graduation. Here at CREEC we try to offer as many different opportunities as possible to our externs, providing both breadth and depth to the experience. This year externs Sophia Peterson ‘23 and Shaurya Bhaskar ’22 participated in myriad facets of the civil rights legal and advocacy world including, attending an Emotional Support Animal Stakeholder Meeting relating to pending legislation at which Amy Robertson contributed information about ADA considerations;  a day at Denver’s Federal Courthouse where they spoke with Magistrate Judge Neureiter and saw several court proceedings including charging, sentencing and some civil cases; saw Boulder civil rights and criminal defense attorney Gail Johnson in action questioning witnesses at a...

Welcome Pilar!

We are excited to announce the opening of CREEC’s Los Angeles office and the appointment of Pilar Gonzalez Morales as our new Senior Staff Attorney! Pilar focuses on civil rights issues at the intersection of disability and immigration rights and comes to CREEC with a wealth of experience. Prior to joining CREEC, Pilar worked at Disability Rights California where she represented children and adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as well as people with disabilities held in immigration detention. Pilar strongly advocates for the use of an intersectional framework within the disability rights movement to ensure that people of color, LGBTQI, immigrants and other often underserved communities benefit from and lead the fight for the civil rights of all people with disabilities. She also worked for four years at Arias and Munoz (currently Dentons Munoz) in Costa Rica where she enjoyed many outdoor activities and was part of the Litigation and Mediation team. Pilar says about her new position, “I’m incredibly pleased to be joining CREEC because of its commitment to enforcing civil rights laws across the nation, including for some of the most underserved communities. CREEC’s work at the intersection of disability and immigration issues is not only innovative, it also ensures that the disability rights community reflects the needs of all people with disabilities across the country.” Pilar has a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from Duke University. Outside of work Pilar spends a great deal of time hanging out with her three nephews, watching futbol, and reading. We are thrilled to have Pilar as part of the team and are...

CREEC Receives Two-Year Grant from the Ford Foundation

Grant Will Support Work of CREEC’s Immigration Detention Accountability Project (IDAP) The Ford Foundation has awarded CREEC a $150,000 grant, distributed over a two-year time period to support IDAP’s work. Established in 2018 CREEC’s Immigration Detention Accountability Project (IDAP) believes that current immigration detention practices are inherently constitutionally suspect and inappropriate for the vast majority of non-citizens awaiting resolution of their immigration status. As long as detention continues to be sanctioned by the courts and Congress, IDAP will fight to ensure that people in ICE custody are held in constitutionally adequate conditions, receive constitutionally adequate medical and mental health care, and are not discriminated against on the basis of disability. Recent IDAP work toward this end includes filing a systemic class action lawsuit, Fraihat v. ICE – challenging ICE’s failure to ensure adequate conditions related to medical, mental health, and disability; successfully challenging conditions at a federal prison in Victorville, CA; representation of individual detained immigrants; providing assistance to other immigration advocates through presentations, workshops, and educational materials on the rights of detained immigrants with disabilities. Elizabeth Jordan, Director of the Immigration Detention Accountability Project, states, “The generous grant we received from the Ford Foundation will help IDAP maximize our impact by reaching as many people in ICE’s jails and prisons with medical, mental health, and disability needs as possible. We are grateful to the Ford Foundation for their support of CREEC while we fight to ensure that the civil and human rights of all people are met.” The Ford Foundation invests in institutions, ideas, and individuals to fight the drivers of inequality in our society. Identifying seven interconnected...

What we’re thankful for this holiday season!

As we reflected, here at CREEC, on 2019, we were reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. Below is a slideshow (with alt text) we made to express our thanks. 2019 Thank You Slideshow with Alt Text You can also watch this as a YouTube video. We're Thankful For Slideshow without audio for...

Tim Fox Writes for the Civil Rights Insider

Co-Executive Director, Tim Fox, was invited by the Federal Bar Association’s Civil Rights Law Section to write an article for their newsletter, the Civil Rights Insider regarding the Fraihat v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Case No. 5:19-cv-01546 (C.D. Cal). On August 19, CREEC and others filed this nationwide class-action lawsuit challenging abusive and horrific conditions of confinement at approximately 158 immigration detention centers across the country. Fraihat alleges violations of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and also alleges that the Department of Homeland Security and ICE have a long-standing pattern and practice of failing to adequately monitor and oversee immigration detention centers. The Federal Bar Association is dedicated to keeping its members informed about current federal issues. One avenue for this is through their quarterly newsletter, the Civil Rights Insider. You can read Tim’s article, “Civil Rights Groups Charge that ICE Disregards Immigrants’ Medical, Mental Health Needs and Ignores Discrimination Against Immigrants with Disabilities” in-full on page four of the Fall 2019 issue of the Civil Rights Insider. To read more about Fraihat v ICE, visit our case...