Melissa Untereker has practiced exclusively in immigration law for over 14 years and is deeply committed to defending the human rights of others. She believes that all people have the right to seek happiness, security, and economic advancement regardless of where they were born.
Prior to founding Frontera Immigration Law, Ms. Untereker worked as a Supervising Attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center, a large non-profit legal service and advocacy organization based in Chicago, and most recently at a high-volume immigration law practice in El Paso, Texas. In these positions, Ms. Untereker had the opportunity to represent hundreds of immigrants in all areas of family- and protection-based immigration, including deportation defense, bonds, permanent and conditional residence, family petitions, citizenship and naturalization, consular processing, inadmissibility waivers, non-immigrant visas, employment authorization, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), asylum, and administrative appeals. While Ms. Untereker is well-versed in all areas of immigration and nationality law, her particular area of expertise is in seeking relief for immigrant survivors of domestic violence and other crimes through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the U and T visas.
Ms. Untereker has been licensed by the Illinois Bar since 2006 and practices Immigration and Nationality law in all U.S. jurisdictions. Ms. Untereker is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Federal Bar Association, the El Paso Immigrant Defense Bar, and the El Paso Bar Association. In addition, she served five years on the Board of Directors of the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas.
Ms. Untereker received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Anthropology and Spanish, with a Certificate in Global Cultures. She subsequently received her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Before attending law school, Ms. Untereker was a labor organizer who fought for the fair wages and employment rights of undocumented immigrant workers in Chicago and Northwestern Illinois.
Ms. Untereker is fluent in both English and Spanish.