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Student Spotlight: Camilla Mroczkowski

Camilla Mroczkowski Wants to Humanize the Immigrant Experience

Camilla Mroczkowski ('23) is a member of DePaul Law's first 3+3 BA/JD cohort and has dedicated her legal education to immigration and asylum law. She is active with DePaul's Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic and her independent study focused on immigration reform in Illinois. 

Originally from Roswell, New Mexico, Mroczkowski attended DePaul as an undergraduate majoring in political science with a concentration in international politics. Though she always knew she wanted to go to law school, an immigration law class with Professor Kathleen Arnold “changed my life. She was super passionate about immigration law and that inspired a passion in me." 

Mroczkowski has a personal connection to this area, being the child of Polish immigrants herself. “My parents are my role models! They worked hard their entire lives and made their own sacrifices to create a better life for me and my brother. I'll never be able to thank them enough for all that they've done." 

James Fujimoto, the Clinic's adjunct instructor and a senior practitioner in residence, considers Camilla “one of my all-time favorite students. She brings to the table a calm, poised and dedicated approach to the law and, as the daughter of immigrants, a great sensitivity towards the hopes and needs of the foreign-born population that she serves." 

Mroczkowski's time with DePaul's Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic allowed her to experience the full gamut of asylum work. During her first semester, a client had an asylum interview scheduled, so she and her team (Miranda Fotis and Jesus Diaz, about whom Mroczkowski says, “I couldn't have gotten through the clinic without them!") spent all their time readying for it. The next semester, she helped two new clients prepare asylum applications from scratch. She also aided with work authorization renewals and U visas. She found this enlightening “because it wasn't just learning about the law but growing as a person. I had to work with clients, build trust, get them to share their stories. A lot of emotion goes into this area of the law." 

Her independent study with Professor Allison Tirres looked at Illinois' immigration laws from the 2017 TRUST Act to the 2021 Illinois Way Forward Act, the latter bringing an end to immigrant detention in Illinois. She tracked all the legislation and advocacy activities in the state, talked to key figures in passing the law, and she was inspired to see how much effort was put into passing these laws and how their persistence paid off. While recognizing the myriad problems at the federal level, she believes Illinois provides a “really good" model for other states to adopt.
Mroczkowski hopes to highlight the human dignity inherent in immigration and asylum law. She is concerned by how “so much of the rhetoric centers around the economic aspect of immigrants–whether they are economically beneficial, whether they are here to 'steal jobs.' We need to recognize them as individuals who are looking for a better life. People need to understand their stories, to understand how much they've sacrificed. I hope that over time the narrative evolves in a more positive way where we shine light on their humanity instead of weaponizing them and suppressing their experiences."
Currently, Mroczkowski is externing at the private immigration firm Delgado Rompf Bruen LLC. She is predominantly involved in business immigration cases, which is expanding her knowledge of the types of visas available and the processes for obtaining them. After law school, she doesn't know whether she is going to end up working for a nonprofit or in the private sector, but she wants asylum work to remain part of her life.