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California’s First County Public Defender Immigration Representation Project

August 20, 2014

via Raha Jorjani:

Raha Jorjani. Photo by ©Kathy Anderson via ABA Journal

Raha Jorjani. Photo by ©Kathy Anderson via ABA Journal

I write to share with you that as of January 2014, I joined the Alameda County Office of the Public Defender in order to create and direct the first county Public Defender immigration representation project on the west coast and in the State of California.

As part of this project, I am able to represent a limited number of public defender clients in their subsequent removal proceedings. This means that the public defender will not only make appearances in criminal court, but also in immigration court – with a focus on detained cases

Our first such appearance in San Francisco immigration court turned heads! I am excited that this move signals a shift in the way we view indigent defense in California. Our hope is that with the launch of this groundbreaking model, other county public defender offices will develop similar programs and our understanding is that this has already begun to happen.

It was an extremely difficult decision to leave the Immigration Law Clinic of the UC Davis School of Law. One could not ask for more supportive, brilliant, and inspiring colleagues to work with. I am comforted by the fact that I will continue to be able to collaborate with those colleagues in this new position. Read more…

Request for Proposals for NY Immigrant Family Unity Project at Batavia Immigration Court

August 20, 2014

via Center on Immigration and Justice, Vera Institute of Justice:


On August 15, 2014, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to provide deportation defense services at the Batavia Immigration Court in Western New York. The RFP is to identify a legal services provider to conduct a pilot program of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) at Batavia.  NYIFUP, the nation’s first government-funded universal-representation program for detained immigrants, conducted a 190-case pilot last year at the Varick Street Immigration Court in New York City. NYIFUP has now been fully funded at Varick Street by the City of New York and has also expanded to serve detained New York City residents whose deportation cases are being heard in the Newark and Elizabeth (NJ) immigration courts.

Read more…

Announcing Our New Co-Directors & New Shared Leadership Model

August 20, 2014

via Amanda Luggg, DWN Steering Committee Chair, Director of Advocacy, African Services Committee
Screen shot 2014-08-20 at 3.49. pm  PDT

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Steering Committee and staff at Detention Watch Network (DWN), I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Ana K. Carrion and Silky Shah as Co- Directors of the Detention Watch Network. As longtime DWN staff, Ana and Silky have played a critical role in building the power of the Network to challenge and expose the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention system. Together they have increased visibility on detention issues, expanded DWN’s base locally and nationally, and worked with members to envision a world without immigrant detention. More recently, they worked seamlessly to move forward DWN’s key projects including: the End the Quota campaign, the Expose and Close reports and the 10th National DWN Member Conference. Read more…

Watch via @Grassroots_News: Rally to Stop the Return of #FamilyDetention

August 14, 2014

via Grassroots Leadership and Texans United for Families:

Texans United for Families and others rallied in front of the T. Don Hutto Immigrant Detention Center in Taylor, TX on Saturday, August 9th, 2014. They marked the fifth anniversary of the end to family detention there – with love and rage. Read more here.

New Project via @EndIsolation: “Detention Stories – Life Inside California’s New Angel Island”

August 12, 2014



Audio Recordings Document Abuse in Immigration Detention

LOS ANGELES – Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) releases seven audio recordings and videos, featuring the voices of people in immigration detention across California.  As video and audio recording generally is not allowed in immigration detention facilities, people in immigration detention requested that CIVIC record their voices to share with a larger audience online.  Through these telephone conversations, CIVIC documented arbitrary use of solitary confinement, sexual assault, physical abuse by ICE officers, prolonged detention, retaliatory transfers, and other aspects of life inside immigration detention.

Read more…

8/8 in #CostaMesa CA: Screening of Detention Stories – Life Inside California’s New Angel Island

August 7, 2014

via CIVIC:



Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) is proud to release Detention Stories: Life Inside California’s New Angel Island, a documentary film series that explores the social and cultural world inside California’s immigration detention centers through individuals who are in the best position to describe it: men and women in detention.  Come learn about the history of immigration detention in California from the early 1900s to the present.

Details: Read more…

Listen: Latino Advocates in the South urge us to be “beacons of light” for unaccompanied child migrants

August 2, 2014

Earlier this month in Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia, SPIN Academy convened a meeting of organizers and advocates working on immigration issues across the South; a sort of summer camp to learn effective communications skills and storytelling strategies for their organizations. Read more…