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Shanti is a Supervising Attorney at Ayuda in Washington, DC, where she represents immigrants in both affirmative immigration applications and deportation defense with a focus on immigrant victims of crime and trafficking, including preparation and filing of cutting-edge U Visa and T Visa applications. She also represent immigrants seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, asylum, relief under VAWA, family petitions, and naturalizations. She supervises a staff attorney and interns in their case work assisting Ayuda’s clients.

Before joining Ayuda in 2014, Shanti was a staff attorney with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). In that position, and, prior to it as the KIND Fellow at Ayuda, Shanti represented unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings for over four years.

Previously, Shanti was a J.D. Distinguished Fellow in the Immigration Law Clinic at UC Davis School of Law in Davis, California, where she assisted and represented detained immigrants. Shanti graduated summa cum laude from American University Washington College of Law in May 2009. Shanti holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she studied Spanish and Justice, Peace & Conflict Studies.

Ayuda's Response to Busing of Migrants

Since April 2022, Ayuda has been working to help coordinate the humanitarian response as the governors of Texas and Arizona continue to send thousands of migrants on buses to Washington, D.C.

We are providing culturally and linguistically specific legal, social and language access services to newly arriving migrants. These services include case management and intake support, interpretation, as well as the provision of food, clothing, hygiene kits, prepaid cell phones, medical supplies, and paid shelter.

Our legal team is providing individualized legal orientations for migrants explaining the immigration system and helping them be aware of their rights and responsibilities.  

“Immigrants are first and foremost, human beings. They deserve respect and compassion, and Ayuda will continue to do what we do best – provide holistic support to those in need in our communities.” - Paula Fitzgerald, Executive Director

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