This is one in a series of profiles marking the 60th anniversary of the ACLU of Kentucky’s founding. Each week through December 2015 we will highlight the story of one member, client, case, board or staff member that has been an integral part of our organization’s rich history.

Enid Trucios-Haynes

Enid Trucios-Haynes is an immigration lawyer and scholar, the President of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky Board of Directors, and the granddaughter of unauthorized, noncitizens who were able to get on a path to citizenship that no longer exists. Her personal connection to the U.S. immigration system continues to inform and inspire her work for immigrants’ rights today.

Trucios-Haynes recalls the 2011 General Assembly as an important moment in this work. The ACLU-KY worked in coalition with immigrant rights’ groups to defeat anti-immigrant legislation in Frankfort. The bill, a copycat of the Arizona law that was challenged by the ACLU before the U.S. Supreme Court, would have required local police to verify the immigration status of all persons suspected of unauthorized presence regardless of any suspected criminal activity.

Her work with the ACLU-KY extends beyond immigrants’ rights and into her classrooms at the University of Louisville. She is the faculty sponsor of the ACLU-KY Brandeis School of Law chapter, open to the entire University of Louisville campus that has become an active partner in educating young civil liberties leaders in our state. She also works with the Brandeis School of Law Marshall-Brennan Program. Trucios-Haynes, along with Professor Cedric Powell, has supervised law students teaching a civil rights curriculum at Central High School for the past three years. This work, supervised by Professor Laura Rothstein with Central High School teacher Joe Guttman, has touched the lives of many law students and high school students who are our future leaders.

One observation from all of this work Trucios-Haynes points to, the protection of civil liberties requires constant and consistent effort as well as broad coalitions working together. She said, “The ACLU of Kentucky is the leading organization in our state defending civil rights and liberties through its outreach, education, lobbying and, most importantly, its ability to protect individuals through its excellent legal program. Few organizations can bring all of these resources to protect the civil rights and liberties. We do this work as an organization on behalf of all of the citizens of our state.”