AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Presents Paulina Reyes-Perrariz with the 2024 Arthur C. Helton Memorial Human Rights Award

5/28/24 AILA Doc. No. 24052304.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods


WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recognizes Paulina Reyes-Perrariz with the 2024 Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award for outstanding service in advancing the cause of human rights.

Paulina Reyes-Perrariz is the managing attorney for the San Diego office of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef). As her nominator wrote, “When the immigrant rights community received word from the local CBP office that migrants were being released on the streets of San Diego on September 13, 2023, she was one of the first people on the ground. And she was on the ground, nearly every day, through late October. She led a group of volunteers, non-profit organizations, and mutual aid groups to ensure migrants had food, shelter, transportation to the airport, and transportation to their final destinations, working tirelessly to center the migrant and their needs.”

Ms. Reyes-Perrariz immigrated from Mexico at an early age and has dedicated her life to social justice and expanding access to legal services in immigrant communities. She is the Managing Attorney of the Cross-Border Initiative (CBI) at ImmDef, a social justice law firm that provides pro bono universal representation throughout Southern California. The CBI program began during the Migrant Protections Protocol (also known as “Remain-in-Mexico”) to provide pro bono representation and vindicate the rights of asylum-seekers under the program. Since its inception, the CBI program has helped hundreds of individuals and families receive humanitarian parole at the southern border.

Ms. Reyes-Perrariz received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and holds a B.S. from California State University in Long Beach.