An immigration attorney for more than two decades, Christopher Stender currently assists clients as a partner of Stender & Lappin, PC, a San Diego-based firm he founded in 2008. Throughout his career, Christopher Stender has contributed his time and resources to a number of charities and nonprofits, including the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP).
FIRRP provides free legal services to men, women, and children detained in Arizona for immigration removal proceedings. Currently, FIRRP provides these services through several programs, including its Detained Immigrant and Refugee Children’s Initiative, which helps unaccompanied minors who have been apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Each year, thousands of minors from Mexico and Central America cross the border into the United States without their parents. Those detained by ICE officials are held in secure facilities, contract shelters, and group homes. In some cases, unaccompanied minors are placed in foster care through the Office of Refugee Settlement.
The Children’s Initiative works closely with those minors awaiting removal proceedings before the Phoenix Immigration Court to ensure that they understand their rights and have access to proper legal representation. If FIRRP is unable to provide representation itself, the Children’s Initiative helps connect clients with pro bono attorneys from the local community.