Thank You to Our 2017 Summer Interns!


Summer may have just officially started, but MIA’s summer interns have been hard at work for the past month helping us with research, translations, office organization, preparing immigration applications, drafting legal arguments, and many other special projects. We cannot thank them enough for their contributions to our work and for the impact they are making in our clients’ lives.

L-R, Cecilia Criddle, Andrew Rankin, Lea Makhloufi

L-R, Cecilia Criddle, Andrew Rankin, Lea Makhloufi

Legal Intern Cecilia Criddle:

Ms. Criddle graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2016, earning a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish. She is currently a rising 2L at the University of Miami School of Law, where she is a member of the immigration clinic, the Hope public interest scholarship program, and the campus’ AILA and National Lawyers’ Guild chapters. She hopes to one day work on immigration policy as it pertains to women, children, and families. Ms. Criddle has gained significant experience in all stages of the U visa application process while at MIA.

Legal Extern Andrew Rankin:

Andrew Rankin, a rising 3L and summer extern from The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, has nearly a decade of substantive experience in immigration law. During his eight-year tenure at a Memphis-based immigration law firm, Mr. Rankin gained exposure to nearly every area of immigration practice, including, but not limited to, family- and employment-based petitions, asylum, cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, motions, appeals, humanitarian relief, consular processing, waivers, and non-immigrant visas. After graduating from law school, he plans to practice immigration law. Mr. Rankin is fluent in Spanish and is passionate about helping immigrants become part of the American melting pot. Mr. Rankin chose to work at MIA due to its unwavering drive to provide legal assistance to the most vulnerable and often overlooked members of the local immigrant community. Additionally, Mr. Rankin is considering a career in non-profit work and will use his externship with MIA as a valuable initial insight in setting his career path.

College Intern Lea Makhloufi:

Ms. Makhloufi is a student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics with a minor in Arabic and Legal Studies. She hopes to one day attend Columbia Law School to practice international human rights or immigration law. She speaks/studies Spanish, French, and Arabic, and  she is interested in gender studies, refugee solutions, and public education policy. Working with MIA has given Ms. Makhloufi insight into a side of immigration that her family never experienced when coming to the United States, making her grateful to help those with barriers to lawful immigration status.

L-R, Benjamin Freeman, Diana Miranda

L-R, Benjamin Freeman, Diana Miranda

High School Intern Diana Miranda:

Ms. Miranda is a rising senior at White Station High School, where she is the founder and president of Latino Voices, a club that serves as a Latino community outreach program. In its first year, Latino Voices organized a Latino College Night to provide college information to parents and students and started an Abriendo Puertas program at White Station. Ms. Miranda is also a member of the National Honor Society, Vice President of the Latin Club, and member of the yearbook staff. After graduation, Ms. Miranda plans to attend Vanderbilt University or Rhodes College, and then attend law school to become an immigration lawyer.

Originally from Mexico, Ms. Miranda was brought to the U.S. when she was 6 months old. Her interest in law, justice, and immigration issues stems from her family’s experiences with the immigration system. As she navigated her way through high school, she became more impassioned as her awareness of the injustices and lack of opportunities that plague the Latino community grew. Ms. Miranda joined MIA for the summer through the Memphis Bar Association’s Summer Law Intern Program after requesting to be placed with an immigration law firm. MIA has benefited enormously from Ms. Miranda’s passion and her drive for justice.

High School Intern Benjamin Freeman:

Benjamin Freeman, a rising senior at Memphis University School, is no stranger to MIA. During his junior year, Mr. Freeman coordinated and led MUS’s Spanish Translation Club’s volunteer work with MIA. In this capacity, he assisted MIA with obtaining dozens of translations of Spanish-language documents such as birth certificates. Spanish Translation Club members benefit by using their language skills for a practical, positive purpose. Mr. Freeman also runs cross country and plays soccer at MUS. Apart from his work with MIA this summer, Mr. Freeman will be going on a mission trip to Chicago and researching colleges to apply to this fall. MIA truly appreciates Mr. Freeman’s compassion, intellectual curiosity, and his dedication to MIA’s clients and its mission.


Find our more about our volunteer and internship opportunities at