Medical Issues of Mothers and Children in Family Detention Facilities

Arizona Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Image:

Arizona Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)


An alumnus of Syracuse University College of Law, immigration attorney Christopher Stender has more than 20 years of legal experience in law firms with a presence in San Diego, California. Moreover, Christopher Stender maintains active membership with numerous professional organizations and previously served as a vice president with the Arizona Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

AILA was established in 1946 to support those who teach immigration law and serve those seeking permanent residence in the United States. One of the many immigration-related issues with which AILA concerns itself relates to family detention.

This term refers to the holding of individuals who are in the U.S. without proper certification, which includes a large number of women who have been abused and children who have fled dangerous circumstances in areas such as Guatemala, Honduras, and elsewhere throughout Central America.

Endangered people who are being held in detention centers face a myriad of potential consequences, including the manifestation and substandard treatment of disease, including mental disorders. The AILA website provides many documents on such matters, including a complaint recently filed with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties by an organization dedicated to ending family detention. The document underscores the dangers associated with placing traumatized individuals in such facilities, which resemble jails and generally fail to provide the medical resources that such individuals require.


Successful Deportation Defense in San Francisco Federal Appeals Court

Having provided free legal services to those without means, Christopher Stender is a respected immigration attorney with experience spanning California and Arizona. As an immigration attorney, Christopher Stender has provided vital support to people fighting deportation proceedings who seek to stay in the United States.

In 2010, Mr. Stender achieved a San Francisco federal appeals court decision blocking the deportation of a Nigerian man was convicted of selling marijuana in Arizona in 2002. Completing a three-year sentence, Lawrence Eneh was set to be deported.

The plaintiff had contracted AIDS through a contaminated needle while in Minnesota and employed at a health center. This condition was pivotal to his defense, as it was argued that Nigeria has a policy of locking up those with AIDS and denying them needed anti-viral medications. In rendering its 3-0 decision, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals noted that deportation to Nigeria, where medications would be withheld, was tantamount to torture.

Annual AILA Citizenship Day Event Assists Immigrants in Naturalization

AILA Citizenship Day pic

AILA Citizenship Day

With extensive experience as a Southern California immigration attorney, Christopher Stender maintains a strong community focus. Attorney Christopher Stender is a longtime presence in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and served as vice president of the Arizona chapter.

One of the key annual sponsored AILA events over the past decade has been Citizenship Day. Bringing together a large number of advocates and lawyers, the event spans naturalization clinics nationwide and is undertaken in partnership with the NALEO Educational Fund. These clinics provide lawful permanent residents with low to no cost assistance in their efforts to naturalize.

The focus of the event is on enabling the creativity, innovation, and participation in civil society unlocked by people becoming US citizens. At present, the need for experienced counsel on the process is acute, as approximately nine million people have eligibility for naturalization. The date September 17 also coincides with National Constitution Day, which honors the day on which the US Constitution was adopted.

Go Outside with the YMCA

YMCA pic


Immigration attorney Christopher Stender has been a successful lawyer in the California region for nearly a decade. Outside of his work as an immigration attorney, Christopher Stender enjoys participating in YMCA activities with his daughter.

The YMCA has a strong focus on youth development, healthy family relationships, and keeping children active and involved, and its programs support these values. The YMCA hosts an innumerable amount of member programs and events, often varying by location and depending on local activities available. One common program offered nationwide is the Let’s Move! Outside initiative, which was begun by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Let’s Move! Outside is meant to encourage children and young adults to take advantage of nature and outdoor activities. The YMCA partners with the Department of the Interior for the initiative, and hopes to inspire children to do service projects as well as play outdoors more. To support this, the YMCA offers a host of events and services, such as summer programs and free national park coverage for youth. To find an event near you, visit

Grace Point Church Goes to Tijuana

grace point church san diego ca Image:

grace point church san diego ca


Christopher Stender is an immigration attorney based in Southern California. Outside the office, Christopher Stender performs volunteer work at Grace Point Church.

Grace Point Church, a non-denominational institution located in San Diego, has a strong focus on community service. The church hosts a number of events and fundraisers each year, with additional programs and groups available for both young and adult members. Options range from serving food to the homeless on holidays to more creative opportunities, such as spreading the faith through the media.

Along with local events, the church sponsors a number of missions to foreign countries, among them the annual mission trip to nearby Tijuana, Mexico. There, Grace Point volunteers partner with the Centro Shalom Church to help those living in poverty. Participants will often have one-on-one time with the children in the area for faith lessons and activities to help establish a positive relationship and provide the locals with necessities such as food and backpacks.

The Florence Project’s Pro Bono Program

Florence Project pic

Florence Project

Christopher Stender is an immigration attorney and member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. A graduate of the Syracuse University School of Law, Christopher Stender has nearly two decades of experience and is a volunteer for organizations such as the Florence Project.

An Arizona-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Florence Project provides pro bono legal services for individuals of all ages in immigration custody. Through these free legal services, the project works to address the estimated 86 percent of individuals who, due to poverty, do not have a lawyer in immigration removal proceedings. The Florence Project maintains several programs, including an advocacy program, direct services, and a pro bono program.

Through the pro bono program, the Florence Project recruits lawyers who are willing to represent detained immigrants in removal proceedings. These attorneys benefit in that they gain professional experience while making a difference in unequal representation in the legal system. Immigration proceedings include a range of subjects, such as citizenship claims, refugee status adjustments, political asylum determinations, and many others, so the project also provides training and mentoring to attorneys. Criminal law lawyers are recruited for the program to assist with post-conviction cases.

What is Moral Turpitude?

Immigration Attorney pic

Immigration Attorney

Attorney Christopher Stender is an experienced lawyer with numerous published appeals to the Board of Immigration. An avid volunteer for his church, Christopher Stender has spent most of his nearly 20 years of experience as an attorney focusing on immigration-related cases, such as the Marmelejo-Campos v. Mukasey case.

The case of Marmelejo-Campos v. Mukasey, which was decided March 14, 2008, was an appeal to rehear the original case of Marmelejo-Campos v. Gonzales. The case was heard in the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, and a three-judge panel ordered that the original case be reheard. The original case was based on the question of whether driving while intoxicated, without a license, is a crime of moral turpitude.

Moral turpitude generally refers to a violation of moral conduct, including acts that violate a person’s duty to others in society. In addition to being a vile and depraved act, crimes of moral turpitude are intentionally evil in nature. These crimes can invalidate an application for a visa or a green card, as well as cause an immigrant who already has either to become deportable.