Staff

Aissa Olivarez, Staff Attorney

Leah Durst-Lee, Legal Services and Development Coordinator

Mission

The Community Immigration Law Center (CILC) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit sponsored by a coalition of legal, social, and faith based organizations wanting to contribute to the community and to address the unmet legal needs of immigrants in Madison and surrounding areas. CILC has provided immigration assistance to individuals since 2009.

Board of Directors

Grant Sovern, President
Attorney
Quarles & Brady LLP

Raluca (Luca) Vais-Ottosen, Secretary
Attorney
DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C.

Linda Clifford, Treasurer
Attorney
Linda Clifford Law Office, LLC

Erin Barbato
Attorney/Director, Immigrant Justice Clinic
University of Wisconsin Law School

Amanda Gennerman
Attorney
Gennerman Law Group

Matthew Gillhouse
Attorney
MMG Law LLC

Laura McFarlane
Attorney
Wisconsin Department of Justice

Jared Prado
Community Outreach & Resource Education Officer
Madison Police Department

Kris Rasmussen
Attorney

Jean-René Watchou
Director of International Outreach
Christ Presbyterian Church

CILC in the News

Dane County is home to pilot program providing lawyers for immigrants

Details the latest universal representation program that the Vera Institute of Justice has funded and of which CILC is part. This article includes an explanation of the program, its benefits, and its successes in Dane County with quotes from Grant Sovern, CILC Board President as well as from Erin Barbato, CILC Board Member.

May 17th, 2019

Wisconsin attorneys grant legal aid to immigrants along the border and within the state

Coverage of CILC’s work and how it impacts the local immigrant community as well as those across the country.

April 28th, 2019

Local immigration lawyer Aissa Olivarez attends State of the Union with Rep. Mark Pocan

Attorney Olivarez attends the State of the Union with Representative Mark Pocan.

February 6th, 2019

6 State of the Union Guests More Interesting Than Whatever President Trump’s Speech Is About

Teen Vogue names CILC Attorney Aissa Olivarez one of the 6 Interesting State of the Union Guests.

February 5th, 2019

McAllen native to attend State of the Union

CILC Attorney Aissa Olivarez, a McAllen native, to attend State of the Union address.

February 5th, 2019

Pocan Announces Immigration Attorney Aissa Olivarez as State of the Union Guest

Representative Pocan formally announces his invitation to CILC Attorney Olivarez as his single guest to the State of the Union address.

February 4th, 2019

The ICE Effect

“The ICE effect” by Madison.com, featuring CILC Attorney Olivarez, explains the traumatic effects the ICE actions had on our community and our community’s response.

November 11th, 2018

Update: Immigrants’ Rights And ICE Raids

89.9 FM Podcast and radio show discussing ICE raids with responses from Attorney Olivarez.

September 27th, 2018

Immigration lawyer responds to ‘disconcerting’ ICE arrests

CILC Board President Grant Sovern speaks on WMTV about the recent ICE arrests in the area.

September 26th, 2018

Immigration lawyer: Recent ICE arrests highlight need for more legal representation options

Channel 3000 interviewed CILC Board President Grant Sovern and CILC founder Jean-Rene Watchou regarding CILC’s work and finding separated families.

September 22nd, 2018

Local immigration lawyers struggle to represent their clients between detention and court

A Milwaukee Independent article on immigrant rights and quotes from Attorney Olivarez regarding the conditions at Dodge and Kenosha County detention centers.

July 27th, 2018

Even Green Card Holders Are At Risk For Deportation, Local Lawyer Says

On the Edge News from Edgewood College interviewed Attorney Olivarez regarding immigration statuses and their legality.

March 2nd, 2018

Seeking sanctuary in Madison: CILC runs a legal clinic for low-income immigrants

Madison Magazine publishes a coverage of CILC’s work with interviews from CILC Board President Grant Sovern & Staff Attorney Aissa Olivarez.

February 28th, 2018

Dane County announced as one of 11 ‘SAFE’ jurisdictions for undocumented immigrants

This Badger Herald article is about CILC as the recipient of the Vera Institute of Justice Grant as well as an overview of the latest research within immigration.

January 23rd, 2018

Due process: Dane County ramps up resources for immigrants

Isthmus presents its coverage of Aissa Olivarez and her work with CILC after graduating from UW-Madison,

December 21st, 2017

Dane County Part Of Nationwide Network Helping Immigrants Facing Deportation: Immigrant Lawyers Share Expertise, Funding From Vera Institute

Wisconsin Public Radio discusses the Vera Institute of Justice, its research, the grant awarded to CILC, with quotes from CILC Board President Grant Sovern.

November 9th, 2017

Madison immigration clinic flooded with variety of residents, concerns

The Cap Times talks about Trump legislation and ICE arrests as well as how CILC works in Madison to address these issues with an interview from CILC Board President Grant Sovern.

February 25th, 2017

Wisconsin Reacts To New Immigration Policies

This Wisconsin Public Radio article addresses the new legislation imposed by the Trump administration and how it impacts Madison community. CILC Board President Grant Sovern is interviewed.

February 21st, 2017