WHO WE ARE
Immigrant Defense Oregon is a new project with a dedicated staff who believe no person is illegal. We are committed to fighting deportation and advocating for the rights of immigrant Oregonians within the U.S. immigration system.
Christine says she inherited her fierce sense of justice from her mother, a Colombian judge, and abuela, neither of whom could ever be silenced in the face of inequality or injustice. She had already completed her undergraduate studies in business, Chinese and music when she discovered this hereditary passion in herself and decided to change the trajectory of her career. As a law student at the University of Virginia, she pursued her enthusiasm for civil rights at the New York Civil Liberties Union and discovered her love of community work at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. She represented clients seeking asylum or facing criminal charges through the school's immigration and public defense clinics and contributed to U.N. reports through the international human rights clinic. Ultimately, she chose to be a public defender and practiced for several years in Pennsylvania before relocating to Portland. She is excited to bring her varied experience to IDO, where she specializes in the intersection of criminal and immigration law (“crimmigration”) and heads the Padilla Project. She is admitted to the Pennsylvania and Oregon bars, loves creating adorable yarn creatures, and will spend as many hours as necessary figuring out how to play a new board game.
Jenny R. Hernandez
Raised by her Cuban immigrant family, Jenny is dedicated to ensuring American communities remain open and welcoming to all peoples. Before coming to Immigrant Defense Oregon, Jenny worked in the federal government for over four years in various positions, most recently within the immigration courts as an attorney advisor to immigration judges. She daily advised immigration judges on complex legal issues of removability and relief within removal proceedings. Her other past federal positions include serving as a Presidential Management Fellow in national labor policy enforcement and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the federal criminal justice system. She also has worked abroad in human rights internships in London and Tanzania; lived and volunteered in Central and South America; and traveled to over twenty countries. She is a graduate of Emory University School of Law and Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia and is admitted to the Florida and Maryland state bars. Her practice is limited to U.S. Immigration law. She is always looking for a new salsa dance floor and most days, will choose the beach over the mountains.
Jessica graduated with a B.S in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. As a native of El Salvador and an immigrant herself, she has a practical understanding of the complex issues that are most salient in immigrant communities. Before joining IDO, Jessica worked as an immigration legal assistant at a private law firm in Texas, but her passion for advocacy and immigrant defense led her to IDO. Her native Spanish-speaking abilities allow her to break down linguistic and cultural barriers to connect the Hispanic immigrant community with legal resources. When she’s not advocating for women’s and immigrant rights, Jessica enjoys outdoor activities with Mosho, her bilingual Schnauzer.