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People

Katherine Veldhuizen

Groups: Staff
Programs: Refugee and Immigrant

Katherine is a Program Coordinator with the Afghan Legal Clinic with The Advocates for Human Rights’ Refugee & Immigrant Program. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the clinic that is serving the 1,200 Afghan evacuees that were resettled in Minnesota following the collapse of Kabul. This includes coordinating daily intakes and consultations, data entry, conducting in depth asylum screenings for potential pro bono placement, and coordinating volunteers and pro bono attorneys.

Prior to joining The Advocates, Katherine worked as a Senior Legal Assistant at the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition in Washington, D.C. Katherine oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Detained Adult Program’s Legal Orientation Program (LOP) in Maryland, facilitating visits to four immigration detention centers and assisting pro se individuals in removal proceedings. Throughout her time at CAIR Coalition, Katherine gained a deep understanding of immigration law and saw firsthand the undeniable connection between the criminal and immigration systems that disproportionately impacted immigrant communities, and only furthered the toxic narratives of “good” versus “bad” immigrants. This narrative was especially prevalent in the Baltimore Immigration Court where the Immigration Judge was notorious for issuing the third highest bonds in the country. Katherine worked closely with the litigation team at CAIR Coalition to identify plaintiffs to challenge these unconstitutional bond hearings, eventually leading a federal judge to issue new bond hearings and placing the burden of proof on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In addition, Katherine has successfully pro se assisted over two dozen asylum seekers in securing legal status in the United States either via asylum, withholding of removal, or Protection under the Convention Against Torture.

Prior to joining CAIR Coalition, Katherine worked with refugees and immigrants in her hometown of Oklahoma City, helping families and individuals in their transition to the United States by providing transportation to appointments, assistance filling out paperwork, and translation services. Katherine holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies and International Development from Washington University in St. Louis.