Meet VIISTA: The Program Training Non-Lawyers to Represent Migrants in Court

Pistone designed and founded an entirely online educational program called Villanova Interdisciplinary Immigration Studies Training for Advocates (VIISTA). The program is designed to meet the demand for immigrant representatives by taking advantage of a long-standing facet of immigration law that allows non-lawyers approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to represent migrants in immigration court. Called “accredited representatives,” these non-lawyers work at DOJ recognized organizations—such as faith-based or immigrant advocacy groups—who are permitted to provide low-cost legal representation to migrants under federal regulations.

Is the U.S. Saying “No Thanks” to the World’s Best and Brightest?

Due to the dual negative impact of regressive policies as well as COVID-19, the U.S. is currently on track to see the lowest enrollment of new international students since World War II, with much of this lost talent being diverted to the U.K., Canada and Australia.

Yet it is exactly times like these, with growing nationalism and xenophobia, that underscore why America needs to keep its minds and doors open, where American students also learn from their international classmates.

Asylum Seekers, Advocates Urge Garland to End Trump’s Cruel Policies Towards Survivors

Although President Biden has promised to restore humanity to our asylum system, many of his predecessor’s cruelest policies remain in effect, placing vulnerable women and families at risk of deportation to the very dangers they have fled. Trump’s racist, misogynist legacy includes a series of restrictive Justice Department rulings that have made it extremely difficult for people fleeing gender-based violence to win asylum protection.