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Working with Immigrants: The Intersection of Basic Immigration, Housing, and Domestic Violence Issues in California 2015

Author(s): Linda Tam, Brenda Star Adams
Practice Area: Family Law, Immigration, Pro Bono
Published: May 2015
PLI Item #: 58037

Brenda Star Adams is the Family Law Coordinator for the Domestic Violence Unit of the Alameda County Regional office of Bay Area Legal Aid, where she supervises the representation of survivors of domestic violence in Family Law and Immigration cases.  Ms. Adams' work involves contested custody matters, restraining orders, paternity, legal separation, and dissolution cases.  The unit also represents undocumented clients in U-Visas or VAWA petitions.  Prior to joining BayLegal in 2011, Brenda spent four years as a Litigation Attorney at the Eviction Defense Center in Oakland, representing low income tenants in eviction jury trials. This will be Brenda's fifth year as a panelist and fourth year as a co-chair of this event.

Linda Tam is a Clinical Instructor affiliated with Berkeley Law School and the Director of the Immigration Clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center, a non-profit in Berkeley, California with the dual mission of providing legal services to the low-income community and training the next generation of lawyers.  The Immigration Clinic provides free immigration services to low-income immigrants, many of whom are HIV-positive or families of children with chronic health problems.  She represents and counsels clients on a wide variety of immigration issues: political asylum, U visas, deportation defense, DACA, VAWA, NACARA, SIJS, naturalization, immigration effects of criminal convictions, and benefits eligibility, including on behalf of detained clients.  She is a contributor on immigration law to “AIDS and the Law,” the leading treatise on HIV legal issues.  She has spoken at regional and national conferences, and was awarded the 2009 Legal Services Award by the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club.  Ms. Tam is a graduate of Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall).