2023-2024 CHCI Postgraduate Fellows
CHCI International Affairs Postgraduate Fellow Presented by Open Society
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
School: University of North Texas – Dallas College of Law
Degree: Juris Doctorate
Placement: The Office of Congressman Joaquin Castro
Astrid (she/her/ella) was born in Dallas (Oak Cliff), Texas to Mexican immigrant parents who encouraged education as a foundation for success. Like many Texas families, Astrid grew up traveling frequently between North Texas and the border communities of Brownsville, Texas/Tamaulipas, Mexico. Her family’s immigration story and her early experiences crossing the border broadened her worldview, exposed her to the direct impact national and state policies had on local border communities, and drew her to immigration and issues impacting local Hispanic communities. With this interest in international affairs, Astrid attended Tufts University in Medford, MA and studied abroad at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Latin American Studies. After several years working in advocacy spaces, including immigration law firms and abortion rights nonprofits, Astrid earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law in 2023.
Her professional experience ranges from government, legal and non-profit work. During law school, Astrid was selected as a Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Judicial Extern and was an extern to state Justices of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas Court of Appeals. Astrid was also a legal extern for the Honorable Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. As an undergraduate student, Astrid interned for former U.S. Senator John Kerry in his Boston office. While studying abroad, she wrote for The Santiago Times, an English-language newspaper reporting on Chile and Latin American events. After graduation, Astrid worked as an immigration paralegal, helping unaccompanied minors, DACA recipients, women and children applying under the Violence Against Women Act and asylum applicants. In this role, she saw the gaps in our current immigration laws and the need for immigration reform. Astrid went on to work with Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and Planned Parenthood Texas Votes as a Community Organizer mobilizing Texans to defend abortion access, LGBTQ+ rights and community health initiatives. During her time with Planned Parenthood, Astrid piloted virtual and in-person Spanish-language reproductive health workshops for Hispanic and immigrant communities that reached Texas, Puerto Rico and an international audience.
Her legal education and advocacy work as a community organizer have shaped Astrid’s interest in public policy, especially at the intersection of reproductive rights, immigration, and civil rights. As a CHCI International Affairs Postgraduate Fellow, Astrid is looking forward to developing a deeper understanding of the legislative process and the opportunities for collaborative international partnerships throughout the Western hemisphere.