Vanessa Ceceña is the daughter of immigrants and grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California. Her focus has been on immigration issues affecting vulnerable populations in the border region. In her previous role as Director of Immigrant Services at Catholic Charities, she expanded access to legal services and support for families in deportation proceedings. She has also worked as a clinician with unaccompanied minors, as well as with adults experiencing mental health issues while in immigration detention.