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FRESNO, Calif  — Immigration is a huge issue for Samoan and Pacific islanders residing in the U.S. With the help of California attorney Leah L. Tuisavalalo, will host an all-new immigration blog -- "Ta'iala" -- to assist the islander community make sense of the often daunting immigration laws of the U.S.

It was seeing the life changing effects of obtaining lawful status that led Tuisavalalo to take up immigration law.

“As far as why I chose immigration, it started when I was in law school,” she told “I interned at a non-profit Law Clinic, working with low income individuals on their immigration cases.”

While an undergraduate at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Tuisavalalo clerked at the Legal Aid Society of Hawai’i, providing direct legal assistance to low income individuals in the areas of family law, housing law, consumer law and public benefits.

While at Santa Clara, she continued her work with low income individuals and families at the Katherine and George Alexander Community Law Clinic. She acted as the primary case handler, under attorney supervision, for people seeking immigration relief.

Tuisavalalo, who has familial ties to Lefaga and Vaiala, was born on the east coast U.S. in New Haven, Conn. When she was a freshman in high school, she moved to Apia, Samoa.