Wendy Cervantes (Former Staff) Vice President

Wendy Cervantes is the Vice President of Immigration and Child Rights for First Focus and the Director of the Center for the Children of Immigrants. In these roles she is responsible for leading the organization’s work in cross-sector policy areas that impact children of immigrants and their families including child welfare, immigration, education, human rights, family economics, and health. She also co-directs the racial equity work of the organization with a focus on developing policies to improve outcomes for the increasingly diverse U.S. child population.

Before joining First Focus, Cervantes was Director of Programs at La Plaza, a Latino community-based organization in central Indiana. At La Plaza she oversaw the implementation and evaluation of education, health, and social service programs that reached over 7,000 families annually. Prior to La Plaza, Cervantes worked at the Annie E. Casey Foundation where she managed the national immigrant and refugee families portfolio and the District of Columbia portfolio. While at the Foundation, she also oversaw the KIDS COUNT immigrant state policy grants and led the Foundation’s efforts on family literacy and immigrant adolescent development.

Cervantes also has experience as a community organizer, an adult ESL instructor, and a youth program coordinator. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Center on Immigration and Children Welfare, the Honorary Board of Welcome.US, and the Advisory Committee of the IMUMI Family Unity Project. She previously served on the Steering Committee of the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the UN Convention on the Right of the Child and on the Associate Board of the Latin American Youth Center. In 2011, she was selected as an ALL IN Fellow with the National Hispana Leadership Institute. The proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, Cervantes holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies and Political Science from the University of New Mexico and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Southern California.

Resources by Wendy Cervantes

Congress Calls on the President to Ban Child Labor

| October 18, 2016 |

On October 18, 2017, Rep. Cicilline and 46 additional members of Congress called on President Obama to ban child labor in U.S. tobacco fields.

Comments to the ICE Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers

| October 7, 2016 |

  On October 7th, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers held a meeting to discuss the subcommittee’s reports

The Children the Obama Administration Refuses to Set Free

| September 19, 2016 |

While kids around the country have already started the school year, hundreds of children are waking up to yet another day behind bars. These

Karla Ortiz Brings the Voice of Kids to the Presidential Debate on Immigration

| July 26, 2016 |

In my work as an advocate, I’ve had the opportunity to witness several children, some as young as five-years-old, share their family’s immigration story

New immigration raid guide covers what educators need to know

| June 13, 2016 |

First Focus is proud to partner with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Immigration Law Center, and United We Dream in the release

Overview of US v. Texas and the Implications for Children

| May 23, 2016 |

US v Texas Fact Sheet July 2016 Overview of US v. Texas and the Implications for Children In November 2014, President Obama announced a

Texas court to hear challenge on immigrant detention centers

| May 12, 2016 |

Associated Press Juan Lozano 5/12/16 HOUSTON — A court hearing Friday over the licensing of immigrant detention centers in Texas is likely to delve

Family Separation, A Natural Byproduct of the U.S. Immigration System

| May 6, 2016 |

Rewire News By Tina Vasquez 5/6/2016 There are millions of children in the United States born into households where one or more of their

Diverse coalition asks DOJ to stop deportation proceedings for children without counsel

| April 29, 2016 |

Today, a group of 177 children’s rights, civil rights, human rights, faith-based, medical, labor, education, and immigrants’ rights organizations, including First Focus, sent a letter

Changing face of America highlighted in new media platform

| March 30, 2016 |

Children are leading a demographic transformation in America. How our nation’s leader’s respond will undoubtedly play an important role in either improving the well-being