Irma Valdez has been
an attorney for 17 years, and concentrates exclusively in Immigration Law.
Born in a small
village in Michoacán, Mexico, Irma spent several years growing up in the migrant camps of California --
where her mother and father worked as fruit pickers. Later, to stabilize their children’s education,
Irma’s parents took factory jobs in Chicago, living in the low-income Pilsen neighborhood where gang violence
and corner-shootings were near daily occurrences. Irma attended Benito Juarez High School where
students had to pass through metal detectors each morning just to enter the school. After graduating from
Benito Juarez H.S., Irma attended Brown University in Providence R.I., majoring in Latino Studies. Upon
graduation from Brown University, Irma returned to Chicago to help her family and simultaneously attended Loyola
after graduating from Loyola Law School, Irma was appointed Asst. Corporation Counsel for the City of
Chicago where she spent a number of years handling police misconduct and other civil rights cases. Irma
eventually left Chicago and accepted an appointment as Asst. United States Attorney in Washington D.C. where she
prosecuted a number of important criminal cases. While serving in the Justice Department, Irma
represented the United States as a cultural exchange representative -- where she travelled abroad and taught the
U.S. Justice System to judges and attorneys of other nations.
In addition to her
legal background, Irma brings a strongly held commitment to public service. She founded and chaired the
highly successful non-profit organization “Latino Home Initiative” -- dedicated to transforming working-class
families from renters to home-owners. Irma has also served for the past 6 years as a Commissioner on
the City of Portland Planning Commission -- where she was the driving force behind the name change
from 39th Avenue to
César E. Chávez Boulevard.
an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), a recent graduate of the American
Leadership Forum (ALF), and a current member of Emerge Oregon.