An immigration lawyer who worked to help those being removed from the country is now facing her own deportation after failing in the visa lottery system, according to Philly.com. Esperanza Franco, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2015, moved to the southern border soon after graduation and began defending ‘immigrants’ facing deportation and helping refugees get more rights.
Franco came to America on a student visa five years ago from Spain, and has spent years using the resources of the U.S. to learn how to stop deportations. Now, she apparently wants other people to pay using a GoFundMe page so that she can keep going to school because she didn’t win the visa lottery system, which randomly allows immigrants to remain in the U.S. — a flawed program President Donald Trump is calling on Congress to end.
She’s in danger of losing her legal status and possibly being jailed in the same Arizona detention center where she previously visited illegal clients.
The case raises a slew of questions, raising from why she never bothered to keep up with her own legal case to why she is asking strangers to pay for her college tuition to keep her in the country so she can help overcome the justice system for illegals.
She fears that in less than a month, she could end up being jailed in the same Arizona detention center where she has gone to visit clients.
Franco previously worked for the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, a nonprofit advocacy group that provides legal services to immigrants looking to remain in the U.S.
She claims the group failed to properly file her paperwork. The group director vehemently disputed her claim, saying the agency did everything it could to legally keep her in the country.
“We were all disappointed, but the organization wasn’t at fault,” said executive director Lauren Dasse to the news outlet. He also questioned if Franco was making “false accusations” to hurt the agency.
Each year, U.S.-based employers can hire skilled foreign professionals through the H-1B visa program.
Congress currently caps the number of visas per year to 65,000, with 20,000 set aside for workers who have a graduate degree.
Franco is apparently upset that her employer couldn’t keep her in the country and that she was not selected in the visa lottery program.
She spent years using U.S. resources and programs to help immigrants — many presumably illegal — remain the U.S.
And now, she is being deported and could be held in a detention center until her case is heard by a judge.
Franco’s case comes as the Trump administration is heavily cracking down on illegal immigration, seeking to end the visa lottery system, and wants to decrease the number of immigrants accepted into the U.S. each year.