Program Coordinator, Centro Legal de la Raza
Mario Martinez is the Post-Release Accompaniment Program (PRAP) Coordinator at Centro Legal de la Raza assisting bond and parole-eligible community members secure their release from immigration detention. Mario has helped coordinate regional deportation defense programs since 2017 at immigration courts, detention facilities, and rapid response networks. He has developed data-driven strategies to enhance these programs and quickly respond to sudden policy shifts or emergencies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these strategies were utilized to identify medically vulnerable individuals to file urgent humanitarian parole requests, support litigation, and inform statewide policy advocacy. Mario's passion for utilizing information to help his community has led him to explore how to leverage Artificial Intelligence tools to improve the provision of legal services. Mario holds an M.A. in Social Sciences and he completed graduate internships abroad focused on international human rights issues, international development, regional legal networks, and refugee issues in the European Union. These experiences allowed him to develop an international perspective on global migration and enabled him to further develop his professional skills to support the immigrant community in the U.S. In his spare time, Mario enjoys cooking for his family, trying new dishes, and he recently developed an interest in organic gardening.