Working as a dentist and journalist is not the type of background one associates with practicing immigration law, but Kathia Pereira (Boyd '03) is not most people. Originally from Lima, Peru, Pereira is the founding partner at Pereira Immigration Law Group and practices exclusively in the areas of immigration and nationality law. Prior to attending Boyd, Pereira had an active dental practice, and served as the director of a scientific information service for dental and medical professionals.
Pereira discovered her passion for immigration law after Professor David Thronson invited her to join the Immigration Clinic. In the clinic, Pereira worked together with Professor Thronson and Raquel Aldana, who instilled in her the love for public service and showed her the basics of what became her calling in life. After graduation, Pereira started her solo practice with the support of her mentor, Professor Leticia Saucedo.
Pereira works daily to help undocumented immigrants become legal residents and legal residents become U.S. citizens. As part of her work, Pereira helps immigrants obtain legal status through their family members; visas for victims of domestic violence; U visas (for victims of certain serious crimes); deferred status; temporary protected status; and other means to reside and work in the United States. She credits her past experience as a dentist with her ability to understand the pain and suffering many of her clients experience, and her experience as a journalist with enabling her to effectively communicate with her clients and community.
A native Spanish speaker, Pereira works to educate the immigrant community about our current immigration laws and their consequences. For more than 10 years, Pereira has held educational segments on Hispanic TV, print media, radio, the web and is a frequent invited speaker at immigration events.
A champion of immigrant education, she is also a member of the national committee on the unauthorized practice of law for AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association); works with several immigrant nonprofits such as the Citizenship Project and Hermandad Mexicana; and is a board member of the African Community Center.
Pereira is the proud wife of Master baker Carlos Pereira and the happy mother of Daniel (14), Nicholas (11), Alberto (10) and Karla (2) -- the best achievements of her career.