The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI) provides high-quality, pro bono legal representation to immigrants detained in the southeastern United States. By ensuring that skilled attorneys are available to protect detained immigrants’ due process rights, SIFI endeavors to win every meritorious deportation defense and release case arising out of Trump-era immigration enforcement actions.
SIFI currently provides legal representation in release (bond, parole, and habeas corpus), deportation defense, and civil rights cases to immigrants imprisoned at the five largest and most isolated detention centers in the Southeast: the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA; the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, GA; the Folkston ICE Processing Center in Folkston, GA; the LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Jena, LA, and the Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center in Pine Prairie, LA. SIFI’s four offices are in or near the towns where the detention centers are located.
Each office generally has a Lead Attorney, two or three Direct Services Attorneys and one or two Project Coordinators. Pro bono attorneys, law students, and volunteer interpreters regularly join the SIFI on-the-ground teams for week-long shifts to expand SIFI’s legal representation, focused on release cases but also including immigration merits cases, high impact advocacy, and individualized advocacy. This includes identifying eligibility for any defense against removal; eligibility for release through bond, parole, habeas corpus, or other claims; and potential litigation and other advocacy involving issues such as law enforcement misconduct during enforcement actions, procedural due process violations in immigration court proceedings, and conditions of confinement.
SIFI was developed and is directed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). SIFI is part of SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project practice group, which works to protect the rights of immigrants and their children to ensure they are treated with dignity and fairness.
The SIFI Senior Attorney- Immigration and Volunteer Engagement (“SIFI SA”) will train, mentor, and supervise full-time on-the-ground Direct Services Attorneys and Lead Attorneys from each SIFI office. In collaboration with SPLC staff, the SIFI SA will develop materials to onboard incoming SIFI attorneys with various levels of legal and immigration law experience, implement program-wide models to further develop SIFI attorneys’ professional development skills, including the SIFI Lead Attorneys, in research, writing, and oral advocacy, and will also develop trainings in substantive immigration law, direct services representation, and high-impact civil rights advocacy. Additional supervisory duties will include reviewing certain filings and dockets at SIFI on-the-ground offices and providing substantive feedback. The SIFI SA will also conduct assessments to identify areas of support and mentorship to advance the SIFI’s representation of individuals in detention and mission to abolish immigration detention.
In collaboration with SIFI’s Ocilla office, the SIFI SA will represent SIFI’s clients, primarily within the Irwin County Detention Center, in the Atlanta Immigration Court – these court appearances will be focused on arguing bond motions based on filings prepared by the SIFI Ocilla staff. Additional court appearances and the preparation of immigration court filings relating to custody and deportation defense proceedings are likely to be assigned based on SIFI’s docket and staffing needs. The SIFI SA at times also will travel to SIFI’s offices when additional on-the-ground immigration law assistance and expertise is needed.
The SIFI SA, in collaboration with SIFI staff and collaborating organizations, will also manage all aspects of SIFI’s training and volunteer engagement efforts with pro bono attorneys, law students, interpreters, and non-attorney volunteers to ensure SIFI’s objectives and missions are being fulfilled. Ultimately, SIFI strives to ensure volunteers are advocates within SIFI, their respective home states, and at the national level to build a movement calling for fair immigration reforms, including ending immigration detention. The SIFI SA will conduct assessments to gain a deepened understanding of SIFI’s current volunteering model, client and case needs, SIFI staff’s current interaction with actual and potential volunteers, and SIFI volunteers’ experiences. The SIFI SA’s duties with respect to volunteer management may also include the design of targeted recruitment campaigns for volunteers, reviewing applications from potential volunteers, managing the scheduling of volunteers and overall volunteer database, monitoring actual and potential volunteers’ abilities, preparing volunteers for SIFI’s on-the-ground and Remote Team volunteering opportunities, and engaging volunteers within various SIFI volunteer opportunities along with the larger immigrant rights and civil rights movements, based on a variety of factors including each volunteer’s location, interests, and abilities.
Primary Job Functions:
Education and related work experience:
Preferred Skills That Will Strengthen Applications:
Along with a resume, please submit a legal writing sample relating to immigration law, a cover letter, and three references.
Other Special Considerations:
This job is performed under general office conditions and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions.
This is a permanent, full-time position. We require a minimum one-year commitment from all SIFI staff.
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. Top of Form
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