May 02, 2019
Isabel Garcia

Isabel Garcia, a fourth-generation Tucsonan, is a longtime human rights advocate and organizer with Coalición de Derechos. She attended Pueblo High School before graduating from the University of Arizona with a BA in 1975 and her JD in 1978. After being accepted into the Arizona State Bar, Isabel was awarded a Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship to work with migrant farm workers as an attorney with Texas Rural Legal Aid in Del Rio, Texas.

Isabel returned to Tucson in 1980 to work as an Assistant Pima County Public Defender, then as an Assistant Federal Public Defender until 1986.  She then began her private practice where she focused on criminal and immigration defense litigation. In 1992, Isabel was named Director of the Pima County Legal Defender’s Office.

Isabel has simultaneously been an advocate for migrant rights and has fought against the militarization of the US/Mexico border, bringing international focus on policy-driven death along US/Mexico border. In 2006, Isabel was awarded the Human Rights Award from Mexico’s Human Rights Commission, representing the first person not born nor living in Mexico to receive the honor.