Christina Wilkes, Esq.
Christina Wilkes founded Wilkes Legal, LLC in 2017 to provide cutting edge immigration solutions while maintaining the utmost care and attention for clients.
Ms. Wilkes has dedicated her career to supporting immigrants through work in the non-profit, private, and academic sectors. She has a long record of success handling family and humanitarian based immigration cases before the US Immigration Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as deportation defense matters before the Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals. She also appears regularly before the Superior Court for the District of Columbia and Maryland Circuit Courts on behalf of immigrant children. Ms. Wilkes has successfully assisted many hundreds of clients in securing their status and building stable and permanent futures in the United States.
Prior to opening Wilkes Legal, Ms. Wilkes represented clients from all parts of the globe at Grossman Law, LLC, a full service immigration law firm. She joined Grossman Law in 2012 and became a partner in 2014. In those positions, she offered comprehensive immigration solutions and strategies for families, children and youth, survivors, workers, professionals, and people facing deportation.
From 2008-2012, Ms. Wilkes served as legal director of Ayuda, a Washington, DC based non-profit organization that provides legal, social, and language access services to low-income immigrants. Before that, she founded Ayuda’s Children’s Project and served as its Director from 2005-2008. In that capacity, Ms. Wilkes was an early advocate for unaccompanied immigrant children and a pioneer for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) cases in the region.
Ms. Wilkes’ experiences at Ayuda provided the basis for a life-long commitment to serving the immigrant community through pro bono and policy advocacy. For example, in 2014, Ms. Wilkes participated in a successful campaign in Maryland to increase the effective age of SIJS eligibility from 18 to 21. She serves as the Chair of Ayuda’s Board of Directors, regularly conducts trainings for and provides mentorship to pro bono attorneys in connection with Catholic Charities, HIAS, the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center, and other area non-profit organizations, and frequently provides pro bono representation to individual children and adults. In addition, Ms. Wilkes is a Lecturer in Legal Spanish at the Washington College of Law, American University. She speaks often on issues of asylum law, SIJS, family-based immigration, and immigration court practice before the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA), the American Bar Association (ABA) and other entities.
Ms. Wilkes is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and Smith College. She is admitted to practice before the Maryland Court of Appeals, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Ms. Wilkes is fluent in English and Spanish.
Press and Publications
- Salvadorans Plead Their Case, The Sentinel, (Jan. 19, 2018).
- Immigration: Crisis in the Courts, NBC (Sep. 25, 2017).
- Consensus in Washington: Bipartisan Support for Anti-Human Trafficking Bill, Christina Wilkes and Susan Imerman, Maryland Bar Bulletin (Aug. 15, 2017).
- Break up the family? White House weighs new border deterrent, Christian Science Monitor (March 11, 2017).
- Deluged Immigration Courts, Where Cases Stall for Years, Begin to Buckle, New York Times (Dec. 1, 2016).
- Government Funded Counsel for Children in Immigration Court?, Christina Wilkes, Maryland Bar Bulletin (Aug. 11, 2016).
- Representing Immigrant Children: Back to the Basics, Christina Wilkes and Rachel Zoghlin, Maryland Bar Bulletin (Aug. 11, 2016).
- MD Expands Opportunities for Abused, Undocumented Children, The Huffington Post (April 17, 2014)
- U.N. Recognizes Plight of Slaves in Africa; U.S. Must Do More, The Huffington Post (Dec. 18, 2013)