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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

An Interview with Justin Estep



Gordon: When did you attend The George Washington University School of Business, what degree did you earn , and what is one of your favorite  memories when you were there?

      

Justin: I attended The GW School of Business from 2001 to 2005. I earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and International Business. During my years at GW, CNN was actively filming “Crossfire”, a political debate show, on our campus. I was able to attend a couple of tapings and ask questions of the pundits, which was a thrill for a political junkie like me. That studio also hosted President George

 W. Bush’s conference regarding minority home ownership in 2002, where I volunteered and was privileged to shake hands with the President.

 

Gordon: When did you attend University of Miami School of Law, what degree did you earn, what was your favorite course, and why was it your favorite?

 

Justin:  I attended the University of Miami Law School from 2005 to 2008. I earned a Juris Doctor degree. My favorite courses were Property and Intellectual Property laws. I found those courses interesting due to the tangible effect they on our everyday, as well how the definition of property is inextricably linked to house the United States developed over the last 250 years.

 

Gordon: When were you a Law Clerk Office of the Attorney General of Texas and what was the most important lesson that you learned there?

 

Justin: I was a Law Clerk at the Office of the Attorney General of Texas from January 2009 to January 2010. The most important lesson I learned in the Civil Medicaid Fraud Division was to not necessarily trust that pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals have your best interests in mind. My whole life I had held anything and anyone in the medical profession on an unrealistic pedestal. My participation on the Vioxx team allowed me to learn about the opioid crisis in depth. 

 

Gordon: When did you serve as Attorney at FosterQuan and what was the most memorable case that you won?


The most memorable victory was a U-Visa pro bono case that was referred to our firm by my current employer, Catholic Charities of Central Texas. After 14 months I was able to secure a U Visa, visas for those that are victims of violent crimes and assist law enforcement in the prosecution of those crimes, for a young man and his mother that were brave enough to come forward and help put away a sex offender. Since that time they have gained Permanent Residency and are on their way to becoming U.S. citizens.

 

Gordon: You have held several positions at Catholic Charities of Central Texas, what are they, and what were your primary responsibilities?

 

Justin: I am currently the Senior Director of Immigration and Refugee Services. I was promoted to Senior Director in October 2022. Previously, I was the Director of Immigration Legal Services from October 2014 until September 2022. My primary responsibilities are managing the staff, drafting budgets, promoting the program, and developing the best protocols and procedures for our staff and clients.

 

Gordon: What can Texas do legally to address the migrant crisis?

 

Justin: The State of Texas cannot and should not interfere with federal law when working with migrants coming into the state. The government of Texas and the municipalities contained within should coordinate with non-profits in the state to ensure that the migrants are treated with dignity and understand their responsibilities to appear in immigration court. This would mitigate the logistical pressure on local governments and ensure a plan is in place that includes input from all stakeholders in the state.

 

Gordon: What can the federal government do to reduce the migrant crisis?

 

Justin: The current immigration system is broken and has been for decades. The federal government needs to come together and seriously discuss comprehensive immigration reform. A full reform package would include adjustments to the visa quotas that reflect 21st  century populations, the addition of dozens of immigration judges, hiring of hundreds of more USCIS employees, a viable non-college degree work permit program as well as many other adjustments. This would allow the system to work out the backlog and encourage migrants to go through points of entry and use applications form their home country because the inefficiencies and lack of options in the current regime would be alleviated.

 

Gordon: Thank you for an incisive interview.

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