Haitian-American woman assists families coping with TPS stress

Talissa Adrien recently joined the IIIC’s Immigration Legal Services (ILS) team as a Program Associate. Talissa is originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and her language skills and cultural knowledge have been a fantastic addition to the IIIC team.

Talissa has been working with the IIIC since June, assisting Haitian clients as they reapply for Temporary Protected Status. Over this time period, the IIIC’s staff, attorneys, interns and volunteers have assisted over 200 Haitian families and submitted applications on behalf of 154 people.

While she was born in the south of Haiti, Talissa and her family moved to Port-au-Prince when she was two years old. In 2009, she immigrated to the United States with her family. She was fifteen, and this change was certainly not without its challenges. However, she enjoyed discovering a new culture and exploring new opportunities. Talissa graduated from Boston College in 2016 with a degree in political science and a minor in African and African Diaspora Studies.

Talissa’s interest in law and public policy brought her to the IIIC. Talissa liked working with Haitian clients because she felt that her background enabled her to understand their experiences.

“I heard so many different stories,” she said. “It’s not just application numbers. It’s a family.”

Talissa hopes that the government will extend Haitian TPS again in January. In the meantime, she anticipates learning more at the IIIC and serving more families.

“I’m looking forward to working with different populations, different nationalities, and different stories,” she said. Talissa appreciates the mentorship of the center’s immigration attorneys, whose enthusiasm she admires. “They are so about going the extra mile,” she said. “The IIIC is doing a great job, and I’m happy to be here.”

If you need legal assistance, Talissa and the IIIC are available as a resource to you. Please call 617-542-7654 to inquire about legal, wellness, and education services.