University of San Diego School of Law
In 2012, Tammy Lin obtained a humanitarian parole for a stateless Armenian stuck in American Samoa working alongside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and American University’s law clinic in D.C. It was a real life version of the Tom Hank’s movie, The Terminal. He lived in the U.S. since 1995 and lost his asylum case but was unable to be deported since the U.S.S.R. no longer existed. But he found a way to fuel his love of traveling by visiting American territories without activating the deportation order. Until he visited Samoa, not realizing this caused him to deport himself.
With no immigration system in American Samoa, he was stuck. UNHCR approached Jewish Family Service to help bring him back into the U.S. so that he could reopen his past asylum case and bring up the fact that he is gay. His case was featured on NPR, Christiane Amanpour’s CNN show and was the talk of the South Pacific News. After a yearlong struggle, he was granted humanitarian parole by the U.S. government. He later reopened his case and was granted asylum.
Prior to joining Jewish Family Service, Lin worked for a small business immigration firm in San Diego that represented companies such as Samsung and LG as well as local restaurants and start-ups. She handled cases involving applicants seeking visa based on extraordinary abilities and high level researchers qualifying for national interest waivers. She has prior experience drafting bills and analyses with the California Senate Public Safety Committee. Currently, she is a frequent speaker at immigration conferences on asylum and family law.
-State Bar of California, member
-AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), member, National USCIS Field Operations Committee (2014-present), National Media and Advocacy Committee (2014-present), National Membership Committee (2015-present), National Election Judge (2015), Chapter chairwoman (2013-2014), Treasurer (2012-13), Secretary (2011-12), CA Conference committee member (2012), Chapter Pro Bono Committee chairwoman (2009-11), Chapter USCIS Liaison co-chairwoman (2014-2015);
-YNPN (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network), treasurer (2014) and advisory board member (2012-14)
-SDLA (San Diego Leadership Alliance), board member (2014-present).
-Notre Dame Alumni Club of San Diego, secretary (2004-05), board member (2002-present), Young Alumni Coordinator (2002-05)
-New Leaders Council Fellow, 2012
-2014 co-winner of AILA National’s Advocacy Award
-OurCitySD.com’s “Who’s Next” Leaders Award Winner, 2015
I’m a proud native Texan born to immigrant parents from Taiwan and Hong Kong. I spent my youth in our family’s restaurants. I received a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in peace studies from the University of Notre Dame. Moving to San Diego after graduation, I took a year off before law school working at the Del Mar Fair selling Hawaiian flowers (No. 3 in sales) and later waitressing at a patio café near the beach.
I can often be found watching shows at the Casbah, North Park Theatre, Soda Bar and other intimate venues. I enjoy cycling and swimming in my free time. I love dogs and memorized all the breeds as a young child but my favorites are Jack Russell Terriers. Recently, my dog Homer (a Jack Russell) passed away at 17 years old. I hope to get a new Jack Russell and name him Milhouse.
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