Jacqueline is a proud El Paso native and undergraduate alum of the University of Texas at El Paso, where she studied political science and Russian. She earned her J.D. at the University of Texas School of Law. Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Jacqueline has practiced immigration law in Austin since 1999 and proudly joined Walker-Gates Vela in 2016.
Jacqueline began her legal career as an attorney with American Gateways, formerly the Political Asylum Project of Austin, and since moving into private practice, has maintained a dedication to public service. She has taken on pro bono matters for the Travis County District Court and volunteers her time with organizations such as American Gateways, Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, the University of Texas, and the Lawyer Referral Service. Jacqueline is on the board of directors of TMC, an exemplary Head Start organization, and is active with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), having served the Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico Chapter as its Chair from 2015 to 2016.
Jacqueline offers seventeen years of experience representing clients from diverse backgrounds in citizenship and naturalization applications, family-based immigration cases, defense from removal, asylum, and other complicated immigration matters. A member of the Texas Bar, she is licensed in the Western District of Texas and in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Jacqueline is a frequent presenter at state and national immigration law conferences, and her expertise has been cited in publications such as the Austin American Statesman, The Texas Tribune, and the New York Times. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, Jacqueline was selected for inclusion in the Immigration Law section of the Rising Stars list published in Texas Super Lawyers magazine.