Janae Davis | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University

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Janae Davis

Class of 2017

Janae Davis and Tania Linares

During her summer break, 3L Janae Davis (left) is working as an intern for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) in Granger, Washington, where she assists SIU Law alumna Tania Linares Garcia '15 (right) on asylum cases.

Davis received her bachelor of arts degree in both International Affairs and Spanish, with a minor in History, from Mercer University. She grew up in Atlanta, but now she and her family live in Tyrone, Georgia. 

Q: What kind of work are you doing at the NIRP?

I am currently researching one of Tania's cases so I can prepare a legal brief for an upcoming hearing. I am also helping prepare motions for court. I am also able to work with some of the other attorneys in the office which has allowed me to do Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa application,  U-visa certification, and also research for a case which discusses relief under the Convention Against Torture and Withholding of Removal. 

NWIRP often gives presentations to the community about current issues then holds a question and answer session afterwards. Another legal intern and I have already spoken to the community about immigration fraud. We gave that presentation with Tania who is running that program, El Fraude de Notario. We also spoke about family visa petitions, priority dates, and increased fees for immigration forms during a radio program. We will probably speak to the community again about the DAPA decision that came out last week. 

Q: How did you become interested in immigration law?

I did not become interested in immigration law until Professor Buys mentioned it to me. I told her that I had not decided which field I want to practice in, but I knew I enjoyed international law and had a strong interest in children's rights. She suggested immigration law to combine both of my interests. 

Q: What, if anything, in your background led to your interest in human rights work?

I've always enjoyed doing community service or volunteering, especially with kids. I like knowing that when I go to work it's to help someone else in need. Eventually that led me to an interest in human rights. 

Q: How has the Human Rights Fellowship that you received from SIU helped you?

The Human Rights Fellowship has helped me pay for my travel and living expenses while I am interning. Since I am working across the country in Washington, this scholarship was very helpful for getting me out here. I am grateful for the fellowship because it helped me to receive this great learning experience at Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.