“Deportation Defense Houston” (DDH) is a project of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, which brings together a cohort of immigration legal services providers (currently, YMCA International Services, BakerRipley, Justice for Our Neighbors-Houston, and the South Texas College of Law Houston) to take on an innovative and aggressive approach to defending immigrants who are detained while their removal proceedings are pending. Members of the cohort will be working as a cohort by meeting regularly, collaboratively placing cases, sharing data, tracking trends, and adjusting strategies as needed.
Deportation Defense Houston will shift the culture of the non-profit immigration legal services community by focusing on detained representation through an innovative and collaborative approach, that includes public engagement, the Immigrant Rights Hotline, a new deportation defense legal clinic, and impact litigation. The cohort will also work to educate policy-makers and the public about the detention and deportation systems through tours of the detention facility, presentations, and community outreach. Organizations (and attorneys) will be asked to step out of their current comfort zones in order to create a new, creative system of representation that is responsive to the needs of the Houston community.
DDH Staff Attorney
The DDH Staff Attorney is responsible for the provision of high quality immigration legal services to low-income detained immigrants at the three Houston area detention facilities. These responsibilities include, among other things, the supervision and training of support staff and volunteers. The staff attorney should be capable of working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, where collaboration is key. The attorney should be flexible, communicative, and open to new ideas.
Coordination with National JFON
The DDH Staff Attorney’s professional performance is subject to review by the Consulting Attorney of National JFON. The DDH Staff Attorney will participate in case review meetings as necessary. The staff attorney is encouraged to discuss cases and program issues freely with the Regional Attorney and other JFON attorneys. At least once a year, the DDH Staff Attorney may be required to participate in a national organizing and training conference of the Justice for Our Neighbors network.
Primary Responsibilities and Duties:
Provide consultations and screen immigrants in detention to ascertain immigration relief
Handle reasonable caseload providing direct representation to individuals in immigration removal proceedings eligible for immigration relief
Provide representation to individuals in other proceedings, such as federal courts and BIA
Monitor detention conditions and access to counsel issues
Participate in education and outreach to the immigrant community
Maintain program statistics, client databases and files, and provide reports as required
Work collaboratively as part of a cohort
Mentor a legal fellow
Engagement with stakeholders, including legal community, funders, and public officials
DDH Staff Attorney Salary and Benefits
A competitive salary and benefits package will be provided. As a JFON staff attorney, the DDH Staff Attorney will be covered by the National JFON program’s professional liability insurance.
How to To Apply
To express interest, please send a resume and cover letter.
Justice For Our Neighbors-Houston is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, immigration status, disability or veteran status.
Required Qualifications and Work Experience:
J.D. from an accredited law school
Bar Admission in any US state
Fluent in Spanish (written, spoken and comprehension)
2-3 years minimum legal experience in immigration law, including representation before the immigration court (representation in detention context and criminal law preferred)
Personal dedication to furthering immigrant justice and rights
Excellent communication and writing skills
Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
Reliable transportation and evidence of insurability
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
About Justice for our Neighbors Houston
Justice for Our Neighbors Houston (JFON), is a nonprofit organization, and is part of a national network of legal clinics throughout the United States. JFON Houston provides low-income individuals and families with affordable, high quality immigration legal services, advocacy and education on immigrant rights.