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May 15, 2014

Howdy from Our New Houston Office

We have officially expanded our refugee representation to Texas and the Houston office is now up and running! The new office has received a very warm welcome from law firms and nonprofits alike in Houston.  Located downtown in South Texas College of Law, both faculty and students have expressed how much they are looking forward to future collaboration.

Refugees and other immigrants in Houston are aware of the strong need for increased legal services for the refugee population in the area, and are excited to see Human Rights First expand into this community. The local office is staffed with two extremely enthusiastic and highly-qualified employees – Shelley Ramsey, as legal coordinator/ legal assistant, and Ashley Kaper, as staff attorney. 

Shelley, though a Tennessee native, has spent quite some time in Texas.  She graduated with a B.A. degree in Sociology from Trinity University in San Antonio in 2011 and, after spending a year working and traveling in Guatemala, she returned to the U.S. to work on assisting with refugee resettlement and to help attorneys to provide legal services to the larger immigrant community. Shelley was most recently working at the Cabrini Center of Catholic Charities in Houston and joins us with extensive knowledge of the local immigrant community as well as existing legal and social services in the metro area. 

Ashley, a Houston native, has returned to Texas from New York.  Before joining Human Rights First, she was an immigration attorney at the Bronx Defenders, where she focused on removal defense and advising noncitizens of the immigration consequences of contact with the criminal justice system.  Prior, Ashley worked for the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, providing access to resources to people in immigration custody in Arizona. She has extensive experience training attorneys new to immigration law and working to provide zealous representation on behalf of immigrants.  Ashley is excited to be back in a border state and working to provide legal services for immigrants in underserved communities.

We look forward to building upon our long-standing partnership with a number of leading law firms by working with their Houston offices to provide pro bono legal representation for this deserving population.  We also look forward to developing new partnerships that will make it possible to help even more indigent asylum-seekers find safety.