11 episodes

I Am Attorney Jessica: Migration and Human Rights for All is a audio/visual bimonthly podcast featuring host Jessica Smith Bobadilla, a U.S. based immigration and human rights attorney with 19 years experience as a lawyer, law professor, expert witness and media commentator. The podcast is an interview format with guests and aims to live up to its name of being "for all" by encouraging followers to pitch show ideas including topic themes and ideas and themselves or others as guests. Fun content is also encouraged including talk about celebrities and their human rights causes and related areas that may be of interest outside of the mainstream of immigration and human rights academic and professional circles.

I Am Attorney Jessica Jessica Smith Bobadilla

    • News
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

I Am Attorney Jessica: Migration and Human Rights for All is a audio/visual bimonthly podcast featuring host Jessica Smith Bobadilla, a U.S. based immigration and human rights attorney with 19 years experience as a lawyer, law professor, expert witness and media commentator. The podcast is an interview format with guests and aims to live up to its name of being "for all" by encouraging followers to pitch show ideas including topic themes and ideas and themselves or others as guests. Fun content is also encouraged including talk about celebrities and their human rights causes and related areas that may be of interest outside of the mainstream of immigration and human rights academic and professional circles.

    EP10: The Human Rights of Afghanistan: Part I

    EP10: The Human Rights of Afghanistan: Part I

    In this episode Jessica is joined by Farnoosh Hashemian, Freshta Karimi, Rana Hazarat and Sahar Muradi to discuss the human rights dimensions of the issues facing Afghanistan in 2021. 


     


    In this episode we discuss:


    The impact of the United States withdrawing in August 2021 from Afghanistan 

    The reasons for the nature and timing of the United States withdrawing  after 20 years of engagement

    Different vulnerable groups impacted by the changes in the balance of power and takeover of the Taliban

    Life for Afghanis under the Taliban

    Sahar’s work as an artist to enable Afghani artists to use their voices and to assist some in attempting to exit  the country so they can continue their work freely

    Rana’s experience working as a Canadian human rights lawyer and with networks of people worldwide attempting to relocate Afghan refugees

    Frehta’s recent journey out of Afghanistan to Canada with her family and the details of how she almost did not make it out despite having been granted visas to multiple countries

    Farnoosh’s work to assist the human rights defenders still stuck in Afghanistan how are at risk with options for exiting the country

    Freshta’s observations of the problems with how US programs and development were conducted in light of the recent withdrawl

    Fresha’s grave concern for her fellow Afghanis 

    How you can help Afghani people and refugees:


    These are the sources recommended by our panel:


     


    1) Uplift Afghanistan:


    http://www.upliftafghanistan.org


     


    2) Lifeline Afghanistan:


    http://www.lifelineafghanistan.ca 


     


    3) Afghan American Artists and Writers Association:


    http:/www.aaawa.net












    BIOGRAPHIES 







    Farnoosh Hashemian is an Iranian-American human rights lawyer with over two decades of experience advancing the rights and dignity of vulnerable people around the globe. Notably, in 2011, she worked with Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission on security sector reform. From 2014-2018 she provided technical support to a coalition of prominent criminal justice reform groups and government officials, to draft and pass, Afghanistan’s groundbreaking anti-torture legislation. She is currently the Acting Director for Law Exchange with the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program, where she works on legal empowerment initiatives that improve health justice for marginalized groups. Since the beginning of the crisis, and in her personal capacity, she has co-led Afghan Legal Empowerment Portal, aiming to secure a safe right of passage for all Afghan grassroots activists.


     


    Throughout her career, she has sought to honor the work of justice defenders who came before her, build on collective local wisdom, and do the deliberate and careful intersectional work in pursuit of gender justice. In her view, it is indeed a feminist’s job to counter the alarming overuse of policing, surveillance, detention, and oppressive measures in the war on terror, the war on drugs, and the war on migrants. 









    Freshta Karimi is the Founder and Director of Da Qanoon Ghushtonky (DQG – “Seeker of Law” in Pashto), one of the largest legal aid service organizations in Afghanistan. Shereceived her Law degree in 2014 from Payam-e-Noor University in Kabul and she is currently studying her masters in Kabul in law and criminology. 


    Freshta Karimi has dedicated her career to improving access to justice and promoting women and children’s rights since 2002. She is also a member of several groups advocating policy changes and has traveled extensively internationally representing her organization and promoting various women’s rights issues and highlighting the concerns of Afghan women. As an activist from the ‘new generation’ of Afghan women, Ms. Karimi has already affected change within her own organization and is committed to building a more secure and safe country for vulnerable groups.


    In addition to her commitment to combatting violence ag

    • 1 hr 7 min
    EP09: Profile of an Immigration Law Trailblazer: Tahmina Watson

    EP09: Profile of an Immigration Law Trailblazer: Tahmina Watson

    In this episode we discuss:


    Tahmina's path to becoming an immigration lawyer and her experience as an organizer during the Trump administration

    Her experience as a Muslim American during the Trump years and in light of the Muslim Ban

    Tahmina's two books Legal Heroes of the Trump Era and The Startup Visa available on Amazon.com

    The ways in which Tahmina believes a "startup visa" could benefit the United States, the tech industry and individual immigrant innovators all at the same time

    Jessica and Tahmina comparing notes about representation of business immigrants vs. deportation defense and family based cases

    Jessica and Tahmina's beliefs about what would be best for immigration in the next era of reform and new ideas for how immigration can evolve in the United States.


     


    JESSICA SMITH BOBADILLA BIO 


    Jessica’s website: https://www.attorneyjessica.com/.  Jessica can be reached at (559) 264-2500 through her firm or for the podcast at iamattorneyjessicapodcast@gmail.com.  



    Follow Jessica on Social Media: LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


     


    TAHMINA WATSON BIO


    Tahmina Watson obtained her law degree and graduated from Brunel University, London, England in 2000. She was Called to the Bar in 2002 (became a barrister) as a member of the Middle Temple Inn. After completing her pupillage (apprenticeship) from Bridewell Chambers in London in 2004, Tahmina continued as a practicing barrister, handling mainly criminal defense matters, before relocating to the United States in 2005. She was affiliated with Temple Court Chambers in London as a Door Tenant until recently. Tahmina was admitted to the New York Bar in 2006.
    Prior to founding Watson Immigration Law, Tahmina was a partner at White & Watson from July 2006 to December 2008 practicing exclusively in the area of U.S. Immigration and Naturalization law.  Before that, Tahmina externed with His Honor Judge Ricardo Martinez at the District Court of Western Washington in downtown Seattle.   She also interned for multiple terms at the Northwest Women’s Law Center (now known as Legal Voice).
    Tahmina is admitted to practice law in Washington State and the State of New York.  She is also admitted to the federal court of Western District of Washington.  She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the King County Bar Association. Tahmina is currently an unregistered member of the Bar of England and Wales. Past memberships include the International Bar Association, The American Bar Association, King County Washington Women Lawyers and other minority bar associations. She continues to be a member of the Middle Temple in London, UK.  Tahmina is an Adjunct Fellow at The Niskanen Center, a Washington DC-based think tank. She advises on immigration policy issues.
    Tahmina currently serves as Chair of the Response Committee of the Washington Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA WA), a committee she helped create after the November 2016 election.  She currently serves on the Board of Trustee for the King County Bar Association.  In addition, Tahmina recently helped form a non-profit organization called WIDEN- Washington Immigrant Defense Network which combines skills of immigration and non-immigration lawyers to help indigent detainees.Her other community activities include serving on the board of Point Hope, an organization that helps children. She is an active member of the pro bono community in Seattle, e.g., Northwest Immigrants Rights Project, One America etc..  Tahmina often provides free legal advice at local legal clinics.  Furthermore, she is an active supporter of Chaya, a Seattle based non-profit organization that assists battered women from a South Asian background.


    She serves as Chair of the Legal Advisory Committee of the Global Entrepreneur in Residence Coalition. Tahmina is also a columnist with The Seattle Globalist.She proudly served as the 2009-2010 President of the King County Wa

    • 57 min
    EP08: Traveling While DACA: Part 1

    EP08: Traveling While DACA: Part 1

    In July 2021, Jessica Smith Bobadilla was retained for the case of Luis Miguel Grijalva Morales an Olympian Who Was Also a DACA Permit Holder.  Luis was almost not able to travel due to the lengthy and complex process to obtain a travel permit for those with DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Status.
    Through a combination of media, political and legal action Jessica and Luis were able to obtain the permit and he traveled to Tokyo making it into the final round and setting a personal best in the finals as well as a record for Guatemala and Latin American runners in a 5000-meter race.
    Frequently during the media interviews, Jessica was asked if the emergency situation with Luis was the most stressful and emergency she had experienced with a DACA advance parole (another name for the travel permit) case.  Jessica laughed and said the name “Alex Avalos” kept popping into her mind and she responded that she had handled one more stressful case for someone traveling while DACA.  Alex Avalos who later obtained Lawful Permanent Residence joins the podcast to tell his story as does I Am Attorney Jessica regular Kime Abduli, Wisconsin-based exceptional immigration lawyer and all-around rockstar.  Kime’s knowledge and depth of personal connection to immigration law is only rivaled by her passion for fitness and strength.  


    In this episode we discuss:


    Alex Avalos his history as a DACA student and the Thought for Food competition he was invited to attend in Europe in 2015;
    The crazy path Alex and Jessica in her role as the Director of the New American Legal Clinic at San Joaquin College of Law in Clovis, California experienced to try to quickly obtain the travel document;
    Alex’s crazy experience when he was in Switzerland but later learned the travel permit had been approved but not arrived at his home due to an address issue in a rural area;
    Alex’s and Jessica’s ultimate decision to have him fly to Mexico and present himself at the US/Mexico border on foot with the appropriate documents that he had received;



    The discussion of Luis Miguel Grijalva Morales and the similar expedited process Luis and Jessica had to pursue to obtain his travel permit;
    Kime’s experience with DACA clients and DACA travel permit cases;
    The current status of DACA after multiple litigation efforts to end the program by restrictionist advocacy groups;
    Jessica’s recommendations for the Biden administration to allow DACA permit holders to obtain travel documents as part of their renewal process unless they have a prior removal order or other unusual issues that would make travel more legally complicated;
    Kime’s talk about the Olympic statement by a news outlet based in Kossovo after athletes from that region took several gold medals stating “Hey Europe, we who do not have visas, have 3 Olympic gold medals” referring to the restriction on Eastern European travelers to Western European countries.


    JESSICA SMITH BOBADILLA (HOST)


    Jessica’s website: https://www.attorneyjessica.com/.  Jessica can be reached at (559) 264-2500 through her firm or for the podcast at iamattorneyjessicapodcast@gmail.com.  



    Follow Jessica on Social Media: LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter



    ALEX AVALOS (GUEST) 


    Alex Avalos is a 23-year-old recent graduate from West Hills College with a degree in Business Administration and General Studies. He was the Co-founder and Director of Product Development of AgForHire.  In 2015, while a DACA student, Alex qualified to attend the Thought for Food competition in Europe.  He was also the Marketing Coordinator for Harris Ranch for over two years.  Alex is currently an independent photographer, graphic design artist and marketing advisor.  Alex can be reached by email at avagtz@gmail.com. 


     


    KIME ABDULI (GUEST)


    Kime Abduli was born in the small country of Macedonia to ethnically Albanian parents. Although her father had immigrated to the United States in search of his own “American Dream

    • 1 hr 3 min
    EP07: Indigenous Perspectives on United States Asylum Policy in 2021

    EP07: Indigenous Perspectives on United States Asylum Policy in 2021

    In June 2021 Vice-President Kamala Harris traveled to Guatemala and gave a now infamous speech where she told people in the Central American nation "Do not come".  With little context, explanation or recognition of United States or international law Vice-President Harris comments were seen as more of the same like almost a continuation of Trump era policies and dumbed down rhetoric.  These statements by My two guest, Luis Marco and Carolina Martin Ramos  in Episode 7 are both indigenous people and co-directors of a non-profit with national and international reach for assistance and protection fo Maya people.  


    On the day that Vice-President made her statement in Guatemala Luis Marcos made the following statement on social media:  
    "Vice-President Harris' callous words to the people of Guatemala and to the Maya Nation, first ignore that Guatemala as a State is on Maya Territory by virtue of the International Legal Construct known as the Doctrine of Discovery.  Second her words ignore US's obligations under international law as well as its moral obligation to humanity.  This includes its commitment to respect the right of the persecuted to seek asylum as refugees, and Indigenous People's pre-existing rights to migrate as recognized in article 36 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples".  


    In this episode we discuss:


    The history of the Maya people and Luis' Mayan Guatemalan roots;

    Carolina's indigenous roots in Mexico and the United States;

    The appropriation of traditional native North and South American prints and garb in US and European fashion;

    The impact of VP Harris' statements in Guatemala and the irony of such statements on Maya territory;

    Current US immigration and asylum policy and its implications for asylum seekers and indigenous people;

    The doctrine of discovery and how this fueled crimes against humanity against indigenous people;

    The international human rights dimensions of indigenous rights;

    Groundbreaking legal work that Carolina and Luis are doing where the rights of indigenous people (apart from the rights under US law) are being raised in immigration court and United States courts;

    The important work of their organization and where you can donate or find out more about what they do.

    A trilingual farewell blessing in Maya, Spanish and English.


     


    Jessica’s website: https://www.attorneyjessica.com/ 


     


    Follow Jessica on Social Media: LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


     


    LUIS MARCOS BIOGRAPHY


    Luis Marcos belongs to the Q'anjob'al Maya Nation and serves as Ambassador of the Akateko, Chuj, Popti and Q'anjob'al Maya to the Omaha Nation, Member of the Council of Authorities of the National Council of Indigenous Peoples in Diaspora, Preparatory Budy Member of the Congress of Nations and States.  Furthermore, Luis Marcos is Co-Executive Director of Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim: Reinforcing our Roots, Living our Maya Heritage (CMPI) a 501c 3 organization of the Q'anjob'al Maya Nation in Nebraska. Luis Marcos works to dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery for the liberation of Indigenous Peoples and Humanity.  


    To reach Luis Marcos please email him at lmarcos@pixanixim.org.


     


    Carolina Martin Ramos Biography


    Carolina Martin Ramos (Mexica Mestiza/Chicana/Kinship ties to U.S. Tribes in SE) is Co-Executive Director of Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim (CMPI) and directs the Maya Human Rights Program and legal services at CMPI. Carolina is an immigration and human rights attorney with years of experience in nonprofit, government, and private practice. She has worked on crimmigration law as a former public defender, represented noncitizen victims of human trafficking and crimes, and asylum seekers. She has received special recognition for her work with Indigenous migrants and LGBTQ asylum seekers. Currently, Carolina focuses her work on the rights of Indigenous Peoples through pre-existing Indigenous traditional laws and governance and international human rights

    • 1 hr 2 min
    EP06: Coming To America in 2021: Or Not?

    EP06: Coming To America in 2021: Or Not?

    In 1988 the Hollywood blockbuster Coming to America debuted, starring Eddie Murphy with a star-studded cast, breathtaking sets, and costumes inspired by the fashions of African royalty. Few who have seen this film regret it. Fast forward to 2021 and the sequel, Coming to America 2, is released. As is true in most cases, the sequel did not live up to the expectations that fans had after the original film. But is this an example of art imitating life? In other words, is the 1988 version of the immigration system more logical than what is happening in 2021 in light of global pandemic closures of immigration courts, immigration offices, and consulates worldwide? Has the immigration system evolved or devolved since Coming to America debuted in 1988?


     


    In this episode, we talk about…


    Coming to America 1 and 2 and things we liked and disliked about the movies.

    How Coming to America in 1988 perhaps exposed some Americans to a different view of what they believed immigrants and Africans to be.

    How Jessica, as a member of the Armenian diaspora, connected to the idea that people within your community who come from abroad can infuse you with new knowledge of yourself and your culture that was reflected in the Coming to America series.

    How Kime's experience as a member of the Macedonian/Albanian immigrant community reminded her of certain things in the film.

    What the immigration law was like in 1988 with the amnesty and legalization programs through the restrictive package of laws passed in 1996; through the immigration reform package that last sunset in April 2001; to the current era of travel bans, asylum restrictions and pandemic related closures and delays.

    How the 2021 version of Coming to America 2 was ironic to immigration lawyers as it hit at a time of bans and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic where they were not seeing a lot of "coming to America" at that time.

    What the 2021 sequel should have been named according to our host and guests.

    Joe's analysis of the Trump administration policies on immigration and asylum including "wait in Mexico" and how he sees that as part of a larger movement and message from the former administration.


     


    Links to resources:


     


    Jessica’s website: https://www.attorneyjessica.com/ 


     


    Follow Jessica on Social Media: LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


     


    Guest Kime Abduli: Website |  LinkedIn | Facebook 


            Phone: (414) 312-7275 | Email: abdulimmigrationlaw@gmail.com 


     


    Guest Joseph R. Lackey: Website | LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook


            Phone: (305) 782-8280 | Email: joseph@josephlackey.com 


     


    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email iamattorneyjessicapodcast@gmail.com

    • 1 hr 7 min
    EP05: Biden's First 100 Days and The Status of Immigration Reform in 2021 - Part 2

    EP05: Biden's First 100 Days and The Status of Immigration Reform in 2021 - Part 2

    The first 100 days of any U.S. Presidential administration is where the incoming president sets his priorities and outlines his vision for the future. In Biden's first 100 days there have been significant steps forward related to immigration law and policy related to reuniting children separated under the Trump administration with their parents, strengthening DACA and protections for asylum seekers and supporting new legislative initiatives. Ethical concerns are of prime importance in immigration law and the panel today discusses some common predatory and deceptive practices by lawyers and non-lawyers alike in the immigration law arena.


     


    In these episodes, we talk about…



    Biden's First 100 Days, Immigration Reform status of current bills, and thoughts about better options. 

    Common ethical issues that come up in Immigration Practice and how we navigate those issues.

    The risk of unethical practices multiplying if there is comprehensive immigration reform.

    What people should look out for with attorneys and why to avoid notarios and non-lawyers.

    What a DOJ Accredited Representative is and how that differs from an Attorney or Notario.

    Examples of unscrupulous practices by attorneys and how clients can avoid them or what to do if they have already retained someone they believe may be unethical and/or committing ineffective assistance in their case.

    Xavier's migration story to the United States with his family to escape corruption and extortion. 

    Lily's experience working as a college student in Chiapas, Mexico with the Zapatista community.


     


    Links to resources:


     


    Jessica’s website: https://www.attorneyjessica.com/ 


     


    Follow Jessica on Social Media: LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


     


    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email iamattorneyjessicapodcast@gmail.com


     


    Lily S. Axelrod


    800-343-4890 or 901-682-6455


    laxelrod@visalaw.com 


    Schedule a consultation


     


    Josh Goldstein can be reached at 213 262-2000


    His LA office is located at 811 W 7th Street 12th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017


    http://www.immigrationlawyerslosangeles.com 


     


    Xavier can be reached at xvazquez@education-leadership.org. 


    To make a tax deductible donation to ELF please visit their website at http://www.education-leadership.org  or call (559) 291-5428.







    Guests Bios: 


     


    Lily S. Axelrod is a Spanish-speaking attorney in the Memphis office of Siskind Susser. Her practice focuses on defending clients in deportation proceedings before the Memphis Immigration Court, including applications for cancellation of removal, asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and permanent residency. Ms. Axelrod enjoys advising clients and other attorneys about the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.


     


    Prior to joining Siskind Susser, Ms. Axelrod worked at the intersection of immigration law and criminal defense at Masferrer & Associates in Boston, Massachusetts.   She represented clients accused of felonies and misdemeanors before local, state, and federal courts, including appeals and post-conviction relief such as motions for new trial. She also defended clients in removal proceedings before the Boston Immigration Court, focusing on finding creative strategies for clients with criminal records.


     


    Ms. Axelrod graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, where she served as President of the Harvard Immigration Project and an editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review. As a law student, Ms. Axelrod provided over 1500 hours of pro bono legal services through the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute, and Greater Boston Legal Services.  She also served as a legal intern with the Project on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ProDESC) in Mexico City.


     


    Before law school, Ms. Axelrod was a paralegal at Siskind Susser, and a community organizer with an immigrants’ rights organization.  A graduate of Brown University, Ms.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

ichola ,

Jessica is awesome!

Glad I finally got around to following this podcast. Jessica and her guests speak as experts with deep experience. As an attorney, I really enjoyed this.

K Cenice ,

Interesting and Informative

Jessica podcasts are very interesting and informative. Her topics definitely make it to our family discussions.

The Prev ,

For The Short List

There is no doubt that Jessica Smith Bobadilla is THE expert on immigration and human rights. She has an extensive family history that has prepared her for a particular kind of empathy and compassion for the plight of the immigrant. She’s a fierce advocate, whip smart, and funny! Jessica provides newsworthy commentary and delivers it in a way that is interesting and upbeat for the non-lawyer. You will definitely learn a thing or two - and laugh!

Top Podcasts In News