The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI), a pro bono immigrant detention center-based deportation defense project, is seeking a Senior Staff Attorney to be SIFI’s point person for analyzing advocacy and litigation opportunities arising out of SIFI’s work. Based on data gathered from SIFI representation, this attorney will develop and coordinate impact litigation and multi-strategy advocacy campaigns on behalf of detained immigrants. A commitment to SIFI’s goals, in addition to the ability to work long hours, including some weekends, is required.
SIFI is part of the Immigrant Justice Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which works to protect the rights of immigrants and their children to ensure they are treated with fairness and respect for their dignity. Our work is focused in two main areas: (1) protecting migrant workers from exploitation and (2) defending immigrants against unlawful government action, including challenging harsh anti-immigrant laws and practices; protecting the due process rights of detained immigrants facing immigration enforcement; and accessing education for immigrant children. In recent years, we have ended discriminatory practices that reduced immigrants’ access to driver’s licenses in Georgia and to register to vote in Louisiana. We have won millions of dollars in stolen wages and other compensation to migrant workers in states such as South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi. We have recently launched an ambitious project to provide free legal representation to immigrants detained in southeastern detention centers, the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (“SIFI”).
By ensuring that skilled attorneys are available, at no charge, to protect the due process rights of detained immigrants, SIFI endeavors to win every meritorious deportation defense case arising out of immigration enforcement actions. In addition to winning immigration cases for our clients, SIFI’s goals include public education that demystifies who immigrants are; grinding the deportation machine to a halt; and shutting down detention centers that cannot meet the basic constitutional requirements appropriate for civil adjudications. SIFI has begun at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, in collaboration with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Immigration Council, the Innovation Law Lab and the American Immigration Representation Project. It will then be expanded to other immigrant detention centers throughout the Southeast.
• Capitalize on access and data to leverage SIFI’s direct representation of thousands of detainees to challenge the deportation and detention machine through a variety of methods, including litigation, advocacy, communications, storytelling, and documentation;
• Identify, coordinate, and lead advocacy and litigation opportunities in Article III courts and immigration courts (including civil rights violations during raids and other enforcement actions; practices that undermine right to counsel, language access, other due process in detention) under the supervision of Deputy Legal Director, SIFI Director, and/or senior supervising attorney;
• Assist SIFI leadership, staff, and collaborators to design and implement data collection, case story collection, and plaintiff identification strategies;
• Foster relationships with local NGOs and liaising with the local field office ICE, USCIS and immigration court staff.
• Collaborate with the Deputy Legal Director, SIFI Director, and the Policy Counsel and to identify and support the advancement of state and local policy priorities and testify to legislative bodies upon request;
• Collaborate with the Deputy Legal Director, SIFI Director, and the Communications Department to develop communication strategies around cases and campaigns; serve as spokesperson upon request.
• Communicate regularly with SPLC staff across the southern region about cases, campaigns, and strategies;
• Represent SPLC in various fora, including before community groups, legislatures, state agencies, and the media;
• Other duties that may be assigned to meet SPLC needs.
• JD from accredited university
• Membership in good standing in the Georgia bar or willingness to sit for the next bar exam if waiving in is not an option.
• Bi-lingual, English/Spanish (conversational, speaking and writing) preferred
• At least five years federal impact litigation, with a preference for experience representing detained immigrants, or comparable legal experience;
• Excellent research and writing skills;
• Experience leading public advocacy or mobilization campaigns preferred;
• Quantitative analytical skills preferred.
Knowledge, skills and abilities:
• Creativity and a demonstrated willingness to take calculated risks in crafting and executing strategies;
• Initiative, vision, and a strong commitment to the struggle for social justice;
• Ability to prioritize responsibilities and have fun in a high-energy, fast paced work environment;
• Excellent and consistent attention-to-detail and the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines;
• Aptitude for and willingness to be a team player.
Other Special Considerations:
This job is performed under general office conditions, and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions. All applicants should submit cover letter, resume, references, and legal writing sample.
The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.
An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.