DePaul alumna Carla
Espinoza (JD ’12) successfully argued a case before the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals that would have permitted deportation of the appellant.
Espinoza, an attorney with Chicago Immigration Advocates, represented petitioner Hair Rodriguez-Molinero, a Mexican citizen formerly
involved in the methamphetamine trade who has lived in the U.S. for years
as a lawful permanent resident. Rodriguez-Molinero remains in custody of the
Department of Homeland Security and is subject to removal. He sought a Convention Against Torture (CAT) deferral of removal due to threats from the Zetas Mexican drug cartel and
torture from the Mexican police at the behest of the cartel, but was denied protection by an immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
v. Lynch opinion by 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner reversed the immigration
judge’s ruling that Rodriguez-Molinero had failed to show that he faced a
substantial risk of torture were he to be removed to Mexico, or that the
Mexican government would acquiesce in the torture.
A report from LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom praised Espinoza's work on the case.
At DePaul, Espinoza volunteered extensively with DePaul’s Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic. She was named Sullivan Fellow at the International Human Rights Law Institute (IHRLI), where she worked on indigenous human rights cases
in association with Mexican nonprofit organizations. Through this work, Espinoza brought human rights cases before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and presented oral arguments during public hearings. One of these cases resulted in the creation of legal precedent for the Inter-American Human Rights System.