Immigrant Legal Services of the Central Coast (ILSCC) provides immigration-related legal services and information to the immigrant community of the Central Coast region of California, primarily Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey Counties.
ILSCC’s mission is to increase access to legal services and understanding of the immigration law system for immigrants and their families by offering affordable legal representation, advice, and education to an otherwise underserved population, thereby increasing the overall stability and well-being of the community.
Lack of or uncertainty in immigration status can create tremendous instability and insecurity in families and communities, deprive them of access to services, and reduce their ability to function as productive members of society. Our attorneys help address this problem by providing full legal representation on an income-based sliding scale so that all members of the community can afford legal help, and by promoting community education and collaborating with other service providers.
ARIADNA RENTERIA TORRES
IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY/ EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Ariadna has worked in immigration law for more than two decades. She received legal education in Mexico and the United States. Ariadna worked as senior staff attorney at the Immigration Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society in New York City for over ten years.
In Mexico, she coordinated the project “Migration Reform in Mexico: Documentation, Litigation, Policy and Legislative Reform,” a joint initiative of Sin Fronteras and the Open Society Justice Initiative of the Soros Foundation. She also worked as a consultant on the Migration, Human Smuggling and Human Rights Project for the International Council on Human Rights Policy of Geneva, Switzerland.
In 2009 Ariadna joined the Watsonville Law Center in Watsonville, California as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow to assist in the Center’s objective to provide pro bono legal services to a low-income and predominately monolingual Spanish-speaking agricultural and service worker population.
Most recently, from 2010 until creating ILSCC in 2017, she operated a private immigration law practice in Watsonville, California. She is licensed to practice law by the New York State Bar.
In the fall of 2020, Emily joined the ILSCC team. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, she has now planted her roots in Santa Cruz. Emily was drawn to immigration law because she loves engaging with clients directly, guiding them through difficult legal issues, and zealously advocating on their behalf. Emily is passionate about bringing her legal skills to marginalized communities and those who have limited access to legal services. Emily uses her advocacy skills to give quality assistance to migrants during the often tumultuous time in the immigration process.
Emily graduated from Cornell Law School in 2020 with a concentration in advocacy. For two of the three years in law school, Emily worked in the Capital Punishment clinic representing clients on death row in South Carolina. Prior to law school, Emily graduated from NYU with a major in Political Science and a double minor in French and Studio Art.
When not at work, Emily can be found hiking with her two dogs or dancing in the kitchen while cooking.
ROSA SANCHEZ DURAN
DOJ ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVE
Rosa immigrated to Watsonville, CA from her native Oaxaca, Mexico when she was 12 years old and has gone on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of California in Santa Cruz (UCSC). In reflection upon her own experiences as an immigrant, Rosa feels called to serve the Central Coast community’s acute need for access to quality legal representation. Rosa sought to answer that call by joining Immigrant Legal Services of the Central Coast as an Administrative Assistant in her senior year at UCSC. Since then, Rosa has continued to develop her talents as a legal caseworker; She now serves as DOJ Accredited Representative and Office Manager and contributes her valuable acumen to the shaping of ILSCC as a critical community aid. Motivated by her experiences as both an immigrant and a provider of immigrant legal services, Rosa intends to earn her Juris Doctor and continue to feed her passion for the Public Interest as a legal professional.
Mayra was born and raised in the Monterey Bay, where her parents settled after immigrating from Mexico; she now holds both a bachelor’s degree in Business Leadership and an
Associate's degree in Paralegal Studies from Fremont College at Los Angeles. After completing her degrees, she returned to Watsonville to raise her family and to give back to her hometown. Watching her parents face the challenges of navigating the United States immigration system has inspired Mayra to pursue a career in legal advocacy, through which she hopes to serve her community as a trustworthy conduit of accurate information for immigrants. Mayra's desire to learn and to interact with her community face to face have brought her to ILSCC, where she serves as the first line of contact for all who walk through our door.