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Legal Services Director

Jul 8, 2016
Organization: 
Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative
City: 
Houston
State: 
Texas

Background
The Houston metropolitan area has one of the highest concentrations and fastest-growing populations of immigrants and refugees in the country. Despite their significant contributions to the state and local economy in Texas, immigrants, particularly those who are undocumented, face considerable challenges. Many immigrants are eligible to apply for citizenship, another form of legal status, or “deferred action,” but cost, educational gaps and lack of high-quality legal services prevent them from seizing these opportunities. We estimate that local service providers currently serve only 20 percent of low-income clients who are eligible for immigration services.

In 2013, local organizations working with immigrant communities came together to form the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC or the Collaborative) to tackle issues facing immigrant communities in the Houston region. The mission of the Collaborative is to create a coordinated network of effective and efficient services to assist low-income immigrants access the information and legal representation that allows them to make choices in their own best interest.


HILSC brings together Houston’s best and brightest non-profit and legal minds to:

  • Increase the capacity of immigration legal services providers and increase the number of such providers equipped to provide high-quality, low-cost services to immigrants.
  • Improve and streamline immigrants’ ability to access existing social and legal services.
  • Be a source of timely and accurate information for both stakeholder groups and potential clients of immigration service providers.
  • Develop new funding sources for immigration service providers.

More about the Collaborative, including the Community Plan can be found at www.houstonimmigration.org.

Position Summary
Responsible for providing strategic leadership in building the capacity of Houston’s immigration legal services providers, including mentoring new organizations and their staff. Perform all duties in a manner consistent with the high standards of the nonprofit community. Work with the Executive Director and the Executive Committee to implement the HILSC Community Plan as well as continue to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies.

Responsibilities

The description below is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified in this position. The position description is subject to change as the needs of HILSC and requirements of the position change. The expertise and areas of interest of successful candidates will also be considered.

The Legal Services Director reports to the Executive Director. In the absence of the Executive Director, the Legal Services Director reports to the chair of the Executive Committee

Organizational Development & Mentorship:

  • Build and maintain relationships with legal services member organizations.
  • Provide technical assistance and mentorship for organizations seeking to deliver immigrant legal services, particularly those without attorneys on staff whom are BIA Accredited or whom are seeking BIA Accreditation
  • Provide leadership on the Collaborative’s implementation of coordinated responses to changes inimmigration policy and law (e.g. DAPA/DACA).
  • Support implementation of Collaborative workshops and coordinated efforts to serve discreteimmigrant communities
  • Provide inspiration, motivation and incentive for members to achieve excellence for the community through collaboration, information sharing, and capacity-building initiatives.
  • Participate in appropriate local, regional, and national conferences, events and workshops which support the Collaborative’s growth and impact in the community.
  • Represent and serve as spokesperson for HILSC to the general public and non-profit community and provide leadership and a convening role in the community (in collaboration with the Executive Director).

Program Development:

  • Build and maintain knowledge about community and national issues and trends that impact the work of HILSC.
  •  Identify key legal issues that require HILSC’s attention and help the Executive Director to implement strategies with member organizations.
  • Assist the Executivee Director in setting the vision and strategic planning for HILSC

Administrative Responsibilities:

  • Assist with HILSC membership process, including vetting new members.
  • Collect and maintain data and other information about HILSC legal services members.

Qualifications
The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Experiential Qualifications:
Candidate should be a licensed attorney with experience practicing humanitarian immigration law (e.g. citizenship, deferred action, humanitarian visas, asylum, etc) and who has experience with:

  • Non-profit organizations and organizational best-practices.
  • The BIA’s Recognition & Accreditation program.
  • Areas of immigration law that are particularly urgent in Houston (e.g. DACA/DAPA, asylum law, etc).
  • Providing mentorship and/or coaching to individuals and/or organizations.
  • Being both “big-picture” and detail oriented.

A license to practice law (in good standing) in any state, or the District of Columbia is required. Spanish fluency is a plus.

Personal qualifications & knowledge:
The ideal candidate is an energetic, forward-thinking and creative individual with high ethical standards and professional image who is able to:

  • Relate to people at all levels of an organization.
  • Make sound judgments.
  • Read, analyze and interpret complex documents.
  • Respond effectively to sensitive inquiries or complaints
  • Demonstrate principles of good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Facilitate collaborative success while promoting member agency work.
  • Maintain updated knowledge of pertinent federal, state and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations.
  • Be a systems-level thinker.

Other position details

  • This is a part-time, contract position, with possibility of moving to full-time.
  • Ideal start date is August 15, 2016.

To apply
Email a current resume and cover letter to kate@houstonimmigration.org by July 22, 2016.

Closing Date *: 
Friday, July 22, 2016

CARA Project Managing Attorney

Jun 7, 2016
Organization: 
CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project
City: 
Dilley
State: 
Texas

PROJECT SUMMARY: The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project is a collaboration of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association in response to the Obama Administration's ongoing persistence to preserve the flawed deterrence policy it began in June 2014. The Project provides limited legal representation and assistance to women detained with their children at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) and the Karnes Residential Center. The Managing Attorney position will focus on operations of the Project at STFRC which is co-managed by CLINIC, the Council, and AILA.

DURATION: 3 months with possibility of extension up to 6 months.

TARGET START DATE: June 2016. Housing is available.

POSITION SUMMARY: The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project seeks a contract Managing Attorney based in Dilley, TX to manage a team of full-time staff and volunteers, provide legal advice and representation to clients in accordance with the best practices and rules of conduct of the profession, provide on-the-ground guidance to the advocacy team for litigation efforts, and participate in regular program management and government liaison meetings. It should be noted that this position requires very long hours, sometimes up to 17 hours a day, and sometimes 7 days a week. The CARA organizational leadership determines the overall project objectives and available resources. The Managing Attorney plans and carries out deliverables, resolves most of the conflicts, coordinates work with others and interprets policy on own initiative. The Managing Attorney keeps the leadership informed of progress, potentially controversial matters, or far-reaching implications.

DELIVERABLES: The CARA Project, contract, Managing Attorney shall be responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Works with OTG staff and CARA organizational partners to run on the ground operations of the project in Dilley, Texas.
  • Manages CARA Project OTG staff.
  • Liaises with government officials to raise issues that arise.
  • Oversees volunteer management and assesses volunteer skill each week to ensure best possible volunteer experience.
  • Communicates regularly with CARA organizational leadership.
  • Serves as face OTG of CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project to the public, including media.
  • Primary point of contact with support teams, including Bond Team and Request for Rehearing Team
  • Other functions necessary to ensure successful completion of the project.

BACKGROUND: The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project requires contract attorney to have the following:

  • Law Degree (J.D.)
  • Admission to practice law in any state and/or the District of Columbia
  • 5+ years immigration law practice experience
  • 2+ years of experience in supervising staff, students, or volunteers
  • Bi-lingual, English/Spanish (conversational, speaking and writing), required
  • Demonstrated knowledge and skill in managing pro bono programs, preferred.
  • Commitment to working long hours, sometimes up to 17 hours a day, and sometimes 7 days a week.

SUBMISSIONS: Qualified and interested individuals should submit resume, and desired salary, in confidence to CLINIC's Business Manager Fanette Jones at fjones@cliniclegal.org.

Closing Date *: 
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Immigration Attorney

Feb 9, 2016
Organization: 
Immigration Services | Catholic Charities Ft. Worth
City: 
Fort Worth
State: 
Texas

Are you proactive, detail oriented, and reliable?  Do you possess a strong sense of justice?  Do people come to you to tap into your ability of problem solving even the most technical and complicated issues?  Does methodical research - leading to solutions based on facts - excite you? Are you passionate about using your legal expertise to provide HOPE to people navigating challenging circumstances? If this sounds like you, keep reading.

 

Catholic Charities Ft. Worth is looking for a future-thinking, analytical professional to serve as Immigration Attorney in our Immigration Services Department. This role requires accuracy, focus, and factual-based decision making. 

For consideration, all applicants must apply and submit their resume and cover letter through the employment page on our website: www.catholiccharitiesfortworth.org. Applicants must also complete a work traits survey via this link. Resumes received without being accompanied by a completed survey will not be considered.

 

What will you be doing?

The primary function of this position is to be responsible for providing legal interpretation for the program, focusing on complex immigration cases and handling the preparation and filing of waivers of inadmissibility. 

 

Responsibilities include

    • Conduct legal research to ensure compliance with immigration laws and regulations of own cases and to assist, as needed, in the cases of other staff.
    • Handle complex cases involving issues, such as dealing with consequences of criminal activities, preparation of waivers, appeals, and others. Coordinate non-complex cases as needed.
    • As resources are available, administer defense of aliens before the Immigration Court, the BIA and the US Courts of Appeals.
    • Aid in the identification and development of resources, such as volunteers and law school interns.
    • Support Department Director in ensuring that all case managers maintain competency in immigration law.  Develop and monitor training plan for program staff.
    • Assist Department Director to establish necessary procedures in order to provide exceptional client service. Determine and ensure availability of legal resources needed for effective service delivery and program operations.
    • Keep records sufficient for statistical reports required by funding sources, the agency, and/or government agencies.

 

Qualifications

    • Law degree from an American Bar Association accredited institution.  Licensed practicing attorney in the State of Texas.  Experience in immigration law preferred. 
    • Two years’ experience as a practicing attorney preferred.
    • Bilingual in Spanish required.

 

Work Hours and Location

Regular office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Evening and weekend hours occasionally required. This position is located at 249 W. Thornhill Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76115.

 

Compensation and Benefits

Catholic Charities Fort Worth offers a variety of benefits to our staff including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance.  Our employees can participate in a retirement plan with a generous match.  A progressive paid leave plan allows you to earn more time off the longer you are employed and we provide paid time off for designated holidays.  We also offer flexible work schedules and a friendly, supportive environment.  This is a salaried position with a range of $49,000 - $52,000 based on skills and experience. 

 

About Us

At Catholic Charities Fort Worth, it is our mission to provide service to those in need, to advocate compassion and justice in the structures of society, and to call all people of good will to do the same. We have been entrusted with a 105 year legacy of doing good and we have set forth a bold goal of ending poverty in our community.  Become part of this amazing history and mission by joining an innovative group of dedicated professionals who are helping those in need in our community find new hope.

For more information on Catholic Charities Fort Worth, you can visit our website at: http://www.catholiccharitiesfortworth.org/  

 

To Apply

Please visit our website: www.catholiccharitiesfortworth.org. Scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on “employment” to visit our career page. Select the job posting and click the "apply" button at the top right of the posting. Please complete all fields with relevant information requested. 

Due to the volume of responses, only qualified parties will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

Catholic Charities Fort Worth is an equal opportunity employer.

Survey Link: https://ciims.cindexinc.com/job/3e533a

 

Closing Date *: 
Thursday, June 9, 2016

CARA Project Managing Attorney

Nov 19, 2015
Organization: 
CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project
City: 
Dilley
State: 
Texas

Cara Project Managing Attorney

(Temporary 3 month, with potential extension to 6-months)

 

Scope of Work

 

Project Summary:  The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project is a collaboration of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association in response to the Obama Administration's ongoing persistence to preserve the flawed deterrence policy it began in June 2014.  The Project provides limited legal representation and assistance to women detained with their children at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) and the Karnes Residential Center.  The Managing Attorney position will primarily focus on operations of the Project at STFRC.

 

Duration:  3 months with possibility of extension up to 6 months on month to month basis, after initial 3 month period.

 

Target Start Date:  January 1, 2016.  Housing is available.

 

Position Summary:  The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project seeks a contract Managing Attorney based in Dilley, TX to manage a team of full-time staff and volunteers, provide legal advice and representation to clients in accordance with the best practices and rules of conduct of the profession, provide on-the-ground guidance to the advocacy team for litigation efforts, and participate in regular program management and government liaison meetings.

 

The CARA organizational leadership determines the overall project objectives and available resources. The Managing Attorney plans and carries out deliverables, resolves most of the conflicts, coordinates work with others and interprets policy on own initiative. The Managing Attorney keeps the leadership informed of progress, potentially controversial matters, or far-reaching implications.

 

Deliverables:  The CARA Project, contract, Managing Attorney shall be responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Works with OTG staff and CARA organizational partners to run on the ground operations of the project in Dilley, Texas.
  • Manages CARA Project OTG staff.
  • Liaises with government officials to raise issues that arise.
  • Oversees volunteer management and assesses volunteer skill each week to ensure best possible volunteer experience.
  • Communicates regularly with CARA organizational leadership.
  • Serves as face of CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project to the public.
  • Other functions necessary to ensure successful completion of the project.

 

Background:  The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project requires contract attorney to have the following:

  • Law Degree (J.D.)
  • Admission to practice law in any state and/or the District of Columbia
  • 5+ years  immigration law practice experience
  • 2+ years of experience in supervising staff, students, or volunteers
  • Bi-lingual, English/Spanish (conversational, speaking and writing), required
  • Demonstrated knowledge and skill in managing pro bono programs, preferred.

 

Submissions:  Qualified and interested individuals should submit resume, and desired salary, in confidence to CLINIC's Michelle Mendez at mmendez@cliniclegal.org and AILA's Reid Trautz at rtrautz@aila.org.

Closing Date *: 
Friday, January 1, 2016

Paralegal

Sep 30, 2015
Organization: 
Justice for Our Neighbors
City: 
Houston
State: 
Texas

Organization Description

Justice for our Neighbors (JFON) is a network of legal clinics which grew out of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) with a commitment to help refugees and immigrants. Since UMCOR was founded in 1940, the refugee ministry has been the heart of the work guided by Christian values of hospitality towards immigrants. UMCOR established JFON in 1999 and has since grown to 15 sites that support more than 40 legal clinics and 4,000 clients annually nationwide. Houston/East Texas JFON is one of the newest JFON locations, and it opened its first legal clinic in 2015.

 

Position Summary

Houston/East Texas Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) is currently accepting applications for a full-time Paralegal to assist in preparing family-based petitions, naturalization, humanitarian relief, and Immigration Court cases. The Paralegal will also assist with outreach presentations, trainings, and workshops. The Paralegal will be based in the Houston office and will assist the Staff Attorney with clinic operations. He/she will be under the supervision of the JFON Site Director and the Staff Attorney and will perform tasks assigned by them.

 

Primary Duties

The Paralegal is responsible for the following:

  • Prepare immigration applications to be filed with USCIS, the Department of State, and the Department of Justice, including family-based petitions, naturalization, adjustment of status, consular processing, waivers, DACA, etc.;
  • Maintain files and update the case-tracking system;
  • Meet with clients to prepare and review applications for filing;
  • Translate documents between English and Spanish;
  • Prepare documents and files for Immigration Court;
  • Prepare client files for clinic, and work with clinic staff and volunteers at monthly legal clinics. Clinics will be held on a Saturday morning and/or a weekday evening once per month;
  • Answer phone, maintain voicemail, record and respond to messages;
  • Schedule appointments for clinic and individual follow-up appointments;
  • Collect and process in-coming mail and prepare packages for mailing;
  • Perform other administrative duties as assigned by the Staff Attorney.

 

General Requirements

The ideal candidate should meet the following requirements:

  • Minimal education level: Bachelor’s degree and/or Paralegal Certificate.
  • Two years of recent paralegal experience in family based immigration, removal defense, and humanitarian relief are required.
  • BIA accredited representation is a plus, but is not mandatory.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Spanish.
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to manage significant caseload, strict deadlines, and other tasks simultaneously.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Outlook, and basic legal case management software.
  • Ability to pay keen attention to detail.
  • Must be reliable and have a professional demeanor.
  • Must be able to maintain confidential client information.

The Paralegal should have a strong commitment to public interest law and to the enfranchisement and empowerment of immigrant communities. JFON is more than a legal service program. JFON is a faith-based ministry of service involving many diverse individuals, cultures and faiths who come together through the United Methodist Church to welcome immigrants to our community. As such, the Paralegal should have an appreciation of the spiritual principles of this work and an ability to work sensitively with numerous volunteers and clients having diverse personalities, lifestyles, cultures, political orientations and faiths.

 

Work Hours

Flexible – 40 hours per week

Salary and Benefits

A competitive salary and benefits package will be provided.

Location

The Paralegal will work primarily at the Mission Milby location, and may at times accompany the Staff Attorney to work at the Gethsemane location.

Submission

To apply for this position, please email a cover letter, resume, and list of three references to:

Joy Green, Staff Attorney for Houston/East Texas JFON
jgreen@jfonhouston-etx.org

Please state salary requirements in the cover letter. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Candidates must have authorization to work in the United States.

Closing Date *: 
Monday, November 30, 2015

Staff Attorney

Mar 26, 2015
Organization: 
Justice For Our Neighbors
City: 
Houston
State: 
Texas

The “Justice For Our Neighbors” (JFON) staff attorney is responsible for the provision of immigration legal services at the JFON immigration clinic/clinics to which he/she is assigned.  These responsibilities include, among other things, the supervision and training of volunteers and support staff and the provision of legal services to clients.  In addition, the staff attorney will promote community education and serve as an advocate for immigrant rights.

Immigration Legal Services

The staff attorney will provide legal counsel and advice to clients who attend JFON immigration legal clinics and may assist them with the preparation of immigration petitions and applications.

Volunteer attorneys, law students and other volunteers from each clinic site may assist the attorney with this work, but all work performed by volunteers and other assistants shall be reviewed by the staff attorney.

The staff attorney has discretion to determine the number of clients and nature of cases he/she can undertake.

The staff attorney’s primary responsibility is to serve each JFON clinic in his/her region, but he/she may also serve immigration clients who seek help from JFON outside the clinic setting.  The staff attorney may also pursue other professional interests related to the advocacy of immigrants’ rights, such as speaking at continuing legal education courses or advocating with elected officials as time and resources permit.

Coordination with National JFON

The staff attorney’s professional performance is subject to review by the Regional Attorney of National JFON.

The 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 staff attorney may be required to participate in a national organizing and training conference of the Justice for Our Neighbors network. 

Clinic Management and Administration

The JFON staff attorney reports to the JFON Site Board.  The JFON national staff will provide general guidelines for clinic management. It is the staff attorney’s shared responsibility with the clinic organizers (task forces and staff board) to ensure that clinic guidelines and policies are followed.

The staff attorney is responsible for ensuring that all attorneys and legal assistants providing services through the clinic/clinics comply with applicable federal and state rules of ethics and professional conduct.  Accordingly, the staff attorney must be familiar with the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and Professional Conduct for Immigration Practitioners Rules and Procedures.  The staff attorney must also comply with JFON Practice Standards and Policies and should be familiar with the ABA Rules of Professional Responsibility.

The staff attorney is not responsible for recruitment of volunteers or logistical organization of the immigration clinics.  However, the attorney is expected to participate in outreach and educational efforts to the extent that the legal workload may permit and as deemed appropriate pursuant to consultation with the task forces and JFON Site Board.

Time Allocation and Travel

 The staff attorney will allocate his/her time and resources using his/her judgment as to the needs of each clinic site.

The staff attorney should allow sufficient time for legal research and continuing legal education.

The staff attorney is required to travel to each clinic site within his/her region as needed to complete casework and follow-up client consultations.  At a minimum, the staff attorney should visit each clinic location within his/her region at least once a month. (Vacation and breaks for both clinic volunteers and the attorney should be considered.)

Travel may also be required to local USCIS district offices and to the immigration court.

General Requirements

The staff attorney should have a strong commitment to public interest legal service and to the enfranchisement and empowerment of newcomer immigrant communities.

Justice for Our Neighbors is more than a legal service project. It is a faith-based ministry of service involving many diverse individuals, cultures and faiths who come together through the United Methodist Church to welcome newcomers to our community. As such, the staff attorney should have an appreciation of the spiritual principles of this work and an ability to work sensitively with numerous volunteers and clients having diverse personalities, lifestyles, cultures, political orientations and various faiths.

General knowledge of immigration and nationality law and prior experience in this field is strongly preferred.

Foreign language ability is a strongly preferred.

Staff Attorney Salary and Benefits

A comprehensive benefits package is included, including competitive compensation health insurance and pension benefits.

As a Justice for Our Neighbors staff attorney, the staff attorney will be covered by the JFON national program’s professional liability insurance.

 

Closing Date *: 
Sunday, May 31, 2015

Director of Immigration Legal Services

Aug 13, 2014
Organization: 
Catholic Charities of Central Texas
City: 
Austin
State: 
Texas

Catholic Charities of Central Texas only accepts online applications.  To apply, please visit our website http://ccctx.iapplicants.com/searchjobs.php

 

Director of Immigration Legal Services

Catholic Charities of Central Texas

Ministerial Character

Catholic Charities is a religious organization founded by the Catholic Diocese of Austin to provide direct social services to those in need.  It is related to but separate from the diocese.  Catholic Charities helps the Bishop of Austin fulfill Christ’s mission in Central Texas.  Some positions employed in Catholic Charities of Central Texas help to extend the ministry of the Catholic Church in particular ways as outlined in the job description.  Therefore, the Catholic Charities of Central Texas employee in this position is related to and assists the Catholic Church in the performance of its ministry and thereby engages in ministry for the church.

 

Job Summary:

The Director of Immigration Legal Servicesis responsible for the daily operations and supervision of the office, collaborates with community and faith-based organizations, and develops advocacy initiatives to better serve the immigrant community. This position reports to the Executive Director and has wide latitude for discretionary decision making and use of independent judgment.

 

Essential Duties:

  • Develop and operate strategic and business plans for the Immigration Legal Services Department to ensure high quality program service delivery.
  • Maintain positive relationships with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Foreign Consulates, and other governmental agencies (local and state).
  • Foster collaborations with community-based organizations that work with the immigrant community.
  • Conduct community presentations to immigrants, parishioners, services providers, and community groups within the 25-county service area of the Diocese of Austin.
  • Work with the Advancement office to maintain relations with the various news agencies in the central Texas area through written and live statements as the spokesperson for ILS to news outlets regarding various aspects of immigration law or regarding the ILS program.
  • Update and maintain ILS policies and procedures.
  • Hire, train, supervise, and evaluate the ILS’ staff and interns.
  • Participate as an active team member of Catholic Charities.
  • Maintain a work schedule that maximizes availability to staff and customers.
  • Oversee daily operations of the program, including tracking budget revenue and expenditures.
  • Assist the Executive Director with program planning, grant writing, and reporting ILS activities to the Board of Directors.
  • Use effective and appropriate supervision and management techniques to maximize employee morale and effectiveness.

 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of and skill in immigration laws and procedures.
  • Knowledge of State law, particularly in regard to juvenile and family court matters involving minors.
  • Skill in proficiently communicating, both verbally and in writing in English and Spanish.
  • Skill in analytical research.
  • Skill in program administration, including financial monitoring and staff supervision.
  • Ability to advocate for immigrant rights and Catholic Social Teachings
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse populations, including culturally diverse as well as low-income persons and other disadvantaged persons. 
  • Ability to conformably work in a faith-based environment.
  • Ability to operate various word processing software, spreadsheets, and database programs.
  • Ability to organize, prioritize, and utilize effective time management techniques to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • Ability to follow instructions furnished in verbal or written format.

 

Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Trainings:

  • Master’s Degree in legal, social work or other public interest field of study from an accredited American university or equivalent in a foreign country.
  • Doctorate of Juris Prudence and current license to practice immigration law in the United States preferred.

Experience:

  • 3 (three) years of full time wage earning immigration experience.
  • Previous administrative experience managing an immigration legal program preferred.

Language:

  • Bilingual English-Spanish (proficient in conversing, reading, and writing).

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Must be certified in Diocese of Austin EIM within 60 days of employment, and maintain certification throughout the employment period.

 

 

Closing Date *: 
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Director of Immigration Legal Services

Jun 13, 2014
Organization: 
Catholic Charities of Central Texas
City: 
Austin
State: 
Texas

Ministerial Character

Catholic Charities is a religious organization founded by the Catholic Diocese of Austin to provide direct social services to those in need.  It is related to but separate from the diocese.  Catholic Charities helps the Bishop of Austin fulfill Christ’s mission in Central Texas.  Some positions employed in Catholic Charities of Central Texas help to extend the ministry of the Catholic Church in particular ways as outlined in the job description.  Therefore, the Catholic Charities of Central Texas employee in this position is related to and assists the Catholic Church in the performance of its ministry and thereby engages in ministry for the church.

 

Job Summary:

The Director of Immigration Legal Servicesis responsible for the daily operations and supervision of the office, collaborates with community and faith-based organizations, and develops advocacy initiatives to better serve the immigrant community. This position reports to the Executive Director and has wide latitude for discretionary decision making and use of independent judgment.

 

Essential Duties:

  • Develop and operate strategic and business plans for the Immigration Legal Services Department to ensure high quality program service delivery.
  • Maintain positive relationships with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Foreign Consulates, and other governmental agencies (local and state).
  • Foster collaborations with community-based organizations that work with the immigrant community.
  • Conduct community presentations to immigrants, parishioners, services providers, and community groups within the 25-county service area of the Diocese of Austin.
  • Work with the Advancement office to maintain relations with the various news agencies in the central Texas area through written and live statements as the spokesperson for ILS to news outlets regarding various aspects of immigration law or regarding the ILS program.
  • Update and maintain ILS policies and procedures.
  • Hire, train, supervise, and evaluate the ILS’ staff and interns.
  • Participate as an active team member of Catholic Charities.
  • Maintain a work schedule that maximizes availability to staff and customers.
  • Oversee daily operations of the program, including tracking budget revenue and expenditures.
  • Assist the Executive Director with program planning, grant writing, and reporting ILS activities to the Board of Directors.
  • Use effective and appropriate supervision and management techniques to maximize employee morale and effectiveness.

 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of and skill in immigration laws and procedures.
  • Knowledge of State law, particularly in regard to juvenile and family court matters involving minors.
  • Skill in proficiently communicating, both verbally and in writing in English and Spanish.
  • Skill in analytical research.
  • Skill in program administration, including financial monitoring and staff supervision.
  • Ability to advocate for immigrant rights and Catholic Social Teachings
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse populations, including culturally diverse as well as low-income persons and other disadvantaged persons. 
  • Ability to conformably work in a faith-based environment.
  • Ability to operate various word processing software, spreadsheets, and database programs.
  • Ability to organize, prioritize, and utilize effective time management techniques to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • Ability to follow instructions furnished in verbal or written format.

 

Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Trainings:

  • Master’s Degree in legal, social work or other public interest field of study from an accredited American university or equivalent in a foreign country.
  • Doctorate of Juris Prudence and current license to practice immigration law in the United States preferred.

Experience:

  • 3 (three) years of full time wage earning immigration experience.
  • Previous administrative experience managing an immigration legal program preferred.

Language:

  • Bilingual English-Spanish (proficient in conversing, reading, and writing).

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Must be certified in Diocese of Austin EIM within 60 days of employment, and maintain certification throughout the employment period.

 

Catholic Charities of Central Texas only accepts online applications.  To apply, please visit our website http://ccctx.iapplicants.com/searchjobs.php

 

 

Closing Date *: 
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Recent Immigration Developments from the States (Mar 2014)

Supreme Court Leaves Lower Court Decisions on Anti-Immigrant Housing Regulations Intact

On March 3, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals brought by the towns of Hazelton, Pennsylvania and Farmers Branch, Texas related to their anti-immigrant housing ordinances. As a result, the decisions of the 3rd and 5th Circuit Courts of Appeals, finding that the housing ordinances were unconstitutionally preempted by federal immigration law, remain intact. Both ordinances would have required prospective tenants to prove their lawful presence in the United States and obtain a rental license before being permitted to rent an apartment. At this time, the only discriminatory housing ordinance that has withstood legal challenge is the policy that will go into effect on April 10 in Fremont, Nebraska. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Fremont’s anti-immigrant rental ordinance last year and a majority of the town’s residents voted last month to keep the law. Fortunately, other localities across the country, including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, are choosing instead to embrace and integrate immigrants into their communities and economies through a number of welcoming initiatives.        

 

Legal Settlement Blocks Key Sections of South Carolina’s 2011 Anti-Immigrant Law

Following in the steps of Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia, South Carolina is the latest state to limit enforcement of its harsh anti-immigrant law. The state has agreed to a settlement in legal challenges to key provisions of SB 20 that sought to criminalize undocumented immigrants and drive them out of the state. Once the settlement with civil rights organizations and the U.S. Department of Justice is approved by the federal court, it will limit how the state can enforce the law’s controversial “show me your papers” provisions which permit local police to request immigration status documents from individuals stopped or detained for other lawful reasons.  The South Carolina Attorney General issued a formal opinion clarifying that law enforcement agents cannot continue to hold people to investigate their immigration status after the original reason for stopping or detaining them has been resolved. The pending settlement will also permanently block the section of the law that makes it a state misdemeanor to fail to carry immigration documents. Finally, the settlement will permanently enjoin the provisions making it a state felony to engage in such routine interactions with undocumented immigrants as driving them to church or renting them a room. Similar provisions criminalizing transporting and harboring have also been blocked in Alabama and Georgia. 

 

Tuition Equity Bill Advances in Florida Legislature While Financial Aid Bill Is Defeated in New York

On March 20, the Florida House voted to approve HB 851 that would permit undocumented residents to pay in-state tuition at state universities. All eyes now turn to the state Senate where the Judiciary Committee recently approved a similar proposal (SB 1400) that must eventually clear the Senate as a whole.  Reports indicate that Governor Scott would sign the tuition equity bill, if passed by the legislature. If Florida does enact this legislation, it would become the 20th state with a law or policy extending in-state tuition to undocumented residents.  Only four of these states (California, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington) also permit undocumented students to qualify for state financial aid. New York, which has offered in-state tuition to undocumented residents since 2002, was considering a bill enabling undocumented students to qualify for state financial aid, but the legislation was defeated by the state Senate on March 17.  Click here for CLINIC’s Talking Points on Why States Should Offer In-State Tuition to All Residents.

 

Massachusetts May Become Third State to Decline to Hold Individuals for ICE

Massachusetts’ SB 1135, an Act to restore community trust in Massachusetts law enforcement, passed out of the Joint Public Safety Committee on March 19. This legislation would limit the use of scarce state and local law enforcement resources to do the federal government’s job of enforcing immigration laws. Specifically, Massachusetts law enforcement would only be able to hold someone under an ICE detainer when the individual is over 18, has been convicted of a certain felony, and has either been ordered removed or charged with being removable, and when ICE has agreed to reimburse the law enforcement agency for all associated costs. Recent ICE statistics show that an alarming percentage of individuals deported from Massachusetts as a result of federal partnerships with local law enforcement had no criminal convictions or had only been charged with minor offenses. According to the bill’s sponsor, it will limit “unjust, unnecessary, and unsafe federal deportation programs, therefore restoring the trust between immigrant communities and police, and increasing the public safety for all residents in Massachusetts.”  While the Maryland legislature had been considering similar legislation this session (HB 29/SB554), the Maryland Law Enforcement Trust Act failed to move out of the necessary House and Senate committees.

 

This document was prepared in March 2014 for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. For questions, please contact CLINIC’s State & Local Advocacy Attorney Jen Riddle at jriddle@cliniclegal.org or (301) 565-4807.

 

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Overview of State Resolutions in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Overview of State Resolutions in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

     The climate in the states on immigration has changed noticeably over the past few years. After comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) failed to pass in 2007, states began enacting a patchwork of their own immigration measures. Arizona’s 2010 sweeping anti-immigrant law, for example, was followed by a series of copycat laws in other states as legislators focused on enforcement and making life for immigrants as difficult as possible. While state immigration enforcement bills continued to be introduced in 2012 and 2013, most lacked the traction to pass. 2013 has witnessed a marked shift towards pro-immigrant legislation as numerous states have passed laws to extend driving privileges and in-state tuition rates to the undocumented population. In addition, states have been sending the clear message to Congress that our broken immigration system needs comprehensive federal reform.

 

Click Here for the Full Overview (PDF)

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Overview of State Resolutions in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (Sept 2013)

States Voice Support for Federal Immigration Reform 

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Overview of State Resolutions in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform 

The climate in the states on immigration has changed noticeably over the past few years.  After comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) failed to pass in 2007, states began enacting a patchwork of their own immigration measures.  Arizona’s 2010 sweeping anti-immigrant law, for example, was followed by a series of copycat laws in other states as legislators focused on enforcement and making life for immigrants as difficult as possible. While state immigration enforcement bills continued to be introduced in 2012 and 2013, most lacked the traction to pass. 2013 has witnessed a marked shift towards pro-immigrant legislation as numerous states have passed laws to extend driving privileges and in-state tuition rates to the undocumented population.  In addition, states have been sending the clear message to Congress that our broken immigration system needs comprehensive federal reform.  

The following summary captures most of the CIR resolutions introduced or passed by states during the 2013 legislative session with links to the text of each resolution. These resolutions speak persuasively about the need for federal immigration reform and contain specific references to immigrants’ many contributions to the social and economic fabric of the state, its communities, and its families.  Upon passage, resolutions are typically forwarded to the President of the United States, leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, and members of the states’ Congressional delegations. CLINIC hopes that the principles and statements contained in the below resolutions may inform your own immigration advocacy with state and national actors.

STATE RESOLUTIONS INTRODUCED1

Arizona: SR 1001 was introduced in the Senate on January 23, 2013.2

Georgia: HR 912 was introduced in the House on March 26, 2013.3

Hawaii: HCR 67 and HR 51  were offered in the House on March 8, 2013.4

Missouri: SCR 10 was offered in the Senate on February 19, 2013. 5

New York: K 485 was introduced in the Assembly on May 23, 2013.6

North Carolina: HR 627 was filed in the House on April 9, 2013.7

Oklahoma: HR 1014 was introduced in the House on April 4, 2013.8

Oregon: HJM 11 was introduced in the House on February 25, 2013.9

TexasHCR 44 was filed in the House on February 13, 2013.10SCR 15  was introduced in the House on February 13, 2013.11  

 

STATE RESOLUTIONS THAT PASSED AT LEAST ONE CHAMBER:

Florida: S 816  was adopted by the Senate on April 26, 2013. 12

New Mexico: SJM 52  was passed by the Senate on March 15, 2013.13

 

STATE RESOLUTIONS THAT PASSED BOTH CHAMBERS:

California: AJR 3 was adopted by the Assembly on May 6, 2013, amended and passed by the Senate on July 1, 2013, and returned to the Assembly where it remains pending.14

Colorado: SJM 13-003 passed in the Senate on April 24, 2013 and in the House on May 7, 2013.15

Illinois: Identical resolutions HR 0377  and SR 0328  were adopted by the Senate on May 23, 2013 and by the House on May 31, 2013.16

Maine: SP 550  was adopted by the House and the Senate on April 30, 2013.17

Nevada: SJR 15  passed the Senate on April 3, 2013 and the Assembly on April 30, 2013.18

New Jersey: Identical bills SR 95 and AR 142 passed the Senate on March 18, 2013 and the Assembly on March 21, 2013. 19

 

In addition to state resolutions, countless city councils across the country have passed resolutions in support of CIR including Boston, MA; Tucson, AZ; El Paso, TX; Seattle, WA; and Anaheim, CA.20 In Kansas, a group of thirty-two mayors wrote a letter to the state’s congressional delegation urging them to adopt immigration reform including “reasonable access to citizenship.”21  

 

This update was prepared in July 2013 by CLINIC’s State & Local Advocacy Attorney Jen Riddle and Advocacy Intern Ashton Hupman. For questions, please contact Jen Riddle at jriddle@cliniclegal.org or (301) 565-4807.

 

1 These resolutions were introduced but either failed to pass or remain pending in committee at the time of writing.   

2 http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=SR1001&Session_ID=110

3 http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/2013_14/40281

4 http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HCR&billnumber=67&year=2013; http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HR&billnumber=51&year=2013 

5 http://www.senate.mo.gov/13info/BTS_Web/Actions.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=18645843

6http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=K00485&term=2013&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Votes=Y&Memo=Y&Text=Y

7 http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2013&BillID=H627

8 http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=HR1014 

9 https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2013R1/Measures/Overview/HJM11

10 http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HCR44

11 http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/history.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SCR15

12 http://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/0816

13 http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislation.aspx?Chamber=S&LegType=JM&LegNo=52&year=13

14 http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AJR3&search_keywords=

15 http://openstates.org/co/bills/2013A/SJM13-003/; http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2013a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont2/E8D99B280BA2CA2187257B4000524BDB?Open 

16http://ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=328&GAID=12&DocTypeID=SR&LegId=76437&SessionID=85&GA=98; http://ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=377&GAID=12&DocTypeID=HR&LegId=76426&SessionID=85&GA=98 

17http://openstates.org/me/bills/126/SP550/;http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?paper=SP0550&SessionID=10 

18 http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/Reports/history.cfm?ID=1137

19 http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillsByNumber.asp

20 http://anaheimblog.net/2013/04/23/anaheim-ciity-council-approves-immigration-reform-resolution/; http://immigration-reform-issues.blogspot.com/2011/10/washington-state-leads-effort-on.html ; http://baystatebanner.com/news/2013/jun/19/boston-city-council-passes-resolution-supporting-f/ ; http://immigrationimpact.com/2013/03/01/immigration-policy-in-the-states-a-roundup/ ; http://www.seiu.org/2013/06/momentum-members-and-allies-mobilize-for-immigrati.php

21 http://www.kansascity.com/2013/08/14/4411405/in-a-letter-32-kansas-mayors-urge.html

Circuit Court Split on Constitutionality of Local Anti-Immigrant Housing Ordinances (Aug 2013)

Circuit Court Split on Constitutionality of Local Anti-Immigrant Housing Ordinances (August 2013)                                                         

Underlying many anti-immigrant measures passed by states and cities in recent years is the policy goal of “enforcement by attrition” or “self-deportation.” The belief is that, by making daily existence for the unauthorized population as difficult as possible, they will decide to leave the U.S. of their own accord.  Examples of such strategies include expanding local enforcement of federal immigration laws, criminalizing unlawful presence and unauthorized work, and restricting the ability of undocumented immigrants to attend school, obtain driver’s licenses, engage in business transactions, rent housing, and otherwise participate in society. Such anti-immigrant strategies fly in the face of Catholic social teaching on the fundamental right of all humans to decent living conditions including faith, family life, food, education, employment, health care, and housing.  As Archbishop of Los Angeles and Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration José Gómez wrote in Immigration and the Next America: Renewing the Soul of Our Nation

Nobody ever forfeits his humanity or his right to be treated with dignity.  No matter where he comes from or how he got here. No matter what kind of papers he has or doesn’t have.  Even if he has broken a law, he is still a person, and he still has rights and dignity.

Starting in 2006, we witnessed localities across the U.S. -- from Hazelton, Pennsylvania and Riverside, New Jersey to Valley Park, Missouri and Escondido, California -- passing ordinances banning the rental of property to undocumented residents. What became of these attempts to force hardworking immigrants and their families to leave the cities they call home? Many of these discriminatory housing ordinances were challenged in court and several were subsequently reversed.  This summer, three federal appeals courts have issued decisions in the legal challenges to restrictive rental policies in Fremont, Nebraska, Farmers Branch, Texas, and Hazelton, Pennsylvania.1  The outcomes were mixed.  The 5th and 3rd Circuit Courts of Appeals prevented the cities of Farmers Branch and Hazelton, respectively, from enforcing restrictive rental prohibitions.  However, the 8th Circuit permitted the Fremont housing ordinance to go into effect.  The three recent circuit court decisions are summarized below.  

1 In addition, last year the 11th Circuit found that Alabama’s state law criminalizing the harboring of an unlawfully present person by entering into a rental agreement with that person to be an untenable expansion of the federal harboring provision and, thus, preempted by federal law. United States v. Alabama, 691 F.3d 1269 (11th Cir. 2012).

In light of the current circuit split resulting from divergent interpretations of federal law, the constitutionality of anti-immigrant housing regulations may be an issue that the U.S. Supreme Court would agree to address in the near future.  For a map of the eleven circuits in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals system, click here .  

 

8th Circuit Allows Nebraska City to Restrict Housing Based on Immigration Status

On June 28, a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld  a 2010 ordinance requiring anyone wishing to rent housing in Fremont, Nebraska to first obtain a permit from the city after proving their lawful presence in the U.S.2  In 2012, a lower court had temporarily prevented the provision from going into effect after finding that denying housing permits to the undocumented is discriminatory and interferes with federal law.  The 8th Circuit disagreed and held that the rental provision is not preempted by federal law because it does not require local officials to determine whether an individual is removable from the U.S. but only mandates that city officials defer to the federal government’s determination of whether an undocumented renter is unlawfully present. Now that the 8th Circuit has reversed the lower court, the city of Fremont can begin enforcing the law on its residents.  It is not yet clear whether the Plaintiffs in the case will petition for a rehearing of the full 8th Circuit.        

2 Keller v. City of Fremont, 719 F.3d 931, (8th Cir. 2013).

3 Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, Texas, No. 10-10751, 2013 WL 3791664 (5th Cir. July 22, 2013).

In his dissenting opinion, 8th Circuit Judge Bright argued that the ordinance is unconstitutional because it conflicts with the federal government’s exclusive immigration authority to decide who may and may not reside in the U.S.  According to Judge Bright, the law “prevents undocumented persons from renting in Fremont, which is tantamount to preventing them from living in the city at all.”  He also pointed to the fact that all the other Circuit Courts that have ruled on this issue have found similar rental prohibitions to be in conflict with our federal system for removal of undocumented immigrants. 

 

5th Circuit Finds Texas Housing Ordinance Unconstitutional

Less than a month after the 8th Circuit upheld the Nebraska city ordinance, the 5th Circuit reached a different decision  about a nearly identical provision attempting to prevent the undocumented from renting housing in Farmers Branch, Texas.3  On July 22, an en banc panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an immigration ordinance that would require prospective tenants to acquire a residential occupancy license after the city verified their lawful presence in the U.S.  In addition to prohibiting landlords from renting to unauthorized immigrants, the ordinance would impose criminal penalties on both landlords and tenants.  The court relied on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 decision invalidating key provisions of Arizona’s notorious SB 1070 to hold that the ordinance conflicted with federal immigration law in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. Specifically, the court found that the ordinance conflicts with the federal government’s authority to arrest and detain people for possible unlawful presence as well as with the federal anti-harboring law, 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii), which makes it a felony to harbor, shield, or conceal an undocumented immigrant.  According to two judges who concurred in the judgment, the “purpose and effect” of the ordinance was “the exclusion of Latinos from the city of Farmers Branch.”   

 

Pennsylvania Housing Ordinance Found Unconstitutional by 3rd Circuit

On July 26, the 3rd Circuit Court confirmed that Hazelton, Pennsylvania’s anti-immigrant housing ordinances were unconstitutional and upheld  the lower court’s rulings that had blocked the discriminatory laws from going into effect.4  One ordinance made legal immigration status a precondition to being able to enter into a lease and criminalized “harboring” an unauthorized immigrant by leasing or renting a dwelling unit to such an individual.  A second ordinance required prospective tenants to obtain an occupancy permit which required proof of citizenship or legal residency.  The court found that, operating together, the two ordinances attempted to regulate residence based solely on immigration status and effectively prohibited unauthorized immigrants from living in any rental housing in the city of Hazelton.  According to the 3rd Circuit, these provisions are preempted by federal law both because the field of immigration is completely occupied by the federal government and because the requirements they impose upon immigrants conflict with federal law.  It is worth noting that, in addition to finding the housing provisions of the ordinances unconstitutional, the court also found that the provision attempting to regulate the employment of unauthorized immigrants was pre-empted by federal immigration law.  

4 Lozano v. City of Hazleton, No. 07-3531, 2013 WL 3855549 (3d. Cir. July 26, 2013).

5 Lozano v. City of Hazleton, 620 F.3d 170, 220–21 (3d Cir. 2010).  

 

In conclusion, it is noteworthy that no new municipal ordinances preventing unauthorized immigrants from renting housing have been enacted since 2010.  If the U.S. Supreme Court does decide to resolve the current split between the circuits, we can be hopeful the high court will adopt the sound reasoning articulated by the 3rd and 5th Circuits in finding such ordinances to be unconstitutional.  In addition to preempting federal immigration law, such housing ordinances are clearly bad public policy. They have cost cities across the country substantial time and resources to defend against lawsuits. They divide communities and increase discrimination against individuals based on their perceived immigration status. As the 3rd Circuit wrote: “It is difficult to conceive of a more effective method of ensuring that persons do not enter or remain in a locality than by precluding their ability to live in it.”5 Archbishop Gómez reminds us that unauthorized presence is not a crime:  

The fact is that most “illegals” are the people next door.  They go to work every day. Their kids go to school with our kids.  We sit next to them at church on Sunday. Most have been living in our country for five years or more.  Two-thirds have been here for a least a decade. 

 Our Catholic commitment to care for the stranger includes the basic need for shelter and extends to all human beings regardless of their immigration status. 

 

This document was prepared in August 2013 by CLINIC’s State & Local Advocacy Attorney Jen Riddle. This document is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. For questions, please contact Jen Riddle at jriddle@cliniclegal.org or (301) 565-4807.

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