Thursday, July 8, 2021

Staff Spotlight is a series that highlights and celebrates the dedicated staff of International Institute of Los Angeles.

Rosendo Oxlaj-Gonzalez has been with International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA) for 3 and a half years. Prior to IILA, Rosendo worked in warehouse/shipping logistics for a private company. Due to the political climate in 2018 and wanting to broaden his professional skills and knowledge, he came to IILA where he now assists Immigration Attorneys on legal cases and conducts client intake procedures, primarily working with unaccompanied minors.

As an immigrant who came to the US as a teenager, Rosendo sees himself in their position, understands the challenges they face, and sees the value in how a work permit can open so many doors and opportunities for people. Rosendo says that he loves serving his community and he sees the work of IILA as improving peoples’ lives and doing real change.

What is a recent accomplishment that you are proud of?

“There are so many cases I’m proud of. One lady was referred to us by another organization and I helped her with her adjustment of status. She won asylum after suffering domestic violence injuries from her husband. She had severe facial injuries. She never got the medical attention that she needed and had some lasting damage. I was able to help with her adjustment of status paperwork by speaking her native language with her, Kʼicheʼ [a Mayan language of Guatemala, spoken by the Kʼicheʼ people of the central highlands. With over a million speakers, Kʼicheʼ is the second most widely-spoken language in the country, after Spanish.]. Before IILA, she had difficultly answering questions and finding legal assistance for her case. She couldn’t believe she could find someone else to speak her language.”

What do you want people to know about the work that you and your department do?

“We are with the community, helping them navigate a complex immigration system. I want people to know that we can assist them. My time here at IILA has helped me a lot personally, too. As I’ve helped other people through their hardships and difficulties they’ve suffered, I’ve felt like I have learned from them and improved myself. Serving them has made me a better person and I have continued to grow.”

Learn more about IILA’s Immigration Legal Services Division (ILSD) here.

If you are in need of legal assistance, please call 323.264.6217 for a free consultation.