Elizabeth Schmelzel was raised in southern Illinois and moved to Washington, DC for college. She lived abroad for most of her 20s, learning about the powers and control borders exert over human freedom. She earned a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics before attending University of Texas School of Law, where she focused on immigration and criminal defense. After law school, she completed a fellowship at Ayuda and then worked for four years at the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, practicing detained removal defense. Since 2019, Elizabeth has also been an adjunct professor at George Mason Law School, teaching asylum and refugee law. Elizabeth enjoys swimming, dancing, running, and reading. Some of her favorite authors are Zadie Smith, Yann Martel, and Ocean Vuong.