This webinar is intended for practitioners who want to learn about new developments in protections for immigrant workers, specifically deferred action granted by USCIS. We will discuss who might be eligible and best practices on screening clients to determine if they are involved in a labor dispute where a government agency might support a request for deferred action from USCIS. We then will provide a nuts-and-bolts overview of filing applications for deferred action (and employment authorization) for immigrant workers, including case strategy and considerations of other forms of relief. This webinar is brought to you by the ILRC, NIPNLG, Unemployed Workers United, Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center, Tulane Immigrant Rights Clinic, and NILC.
Lena Graber - Senior Staff Attorney, ILRC
Lena Graber is a national expert on the role of local police in immigration enforcement and the use of ICE detainers. She has spent more than a decade supporting organizers and lawyers around the country to fight unfair and often illegal detention of immigrants, and to push for pro-immigrant local policies. Lena spearheads ILRC’s national work combatting immigration enforcement and providing comprehensive advocacy resources and trainings to the immigrant rights movement. In the last several years, Lena has written and consulted on local and state-wide sanctuary policies in dozens of states and trained hundreds of organizers and policymakers to better understand and dismantle the machinery of detention and deportation. Lena joined the ILRC in 2013, and she has co-authored several ILRC publications including Motions to Suppress: Protecting the Constitutional Rights of Immigrants in Removal Proceedings; FOIA Requests and Other Background Checks; DACA: The Essential Legal Guide; and Parole in Immigration Law.
Prior to the ILRC, Lena was a Soros Justice Fellow at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, where she supported campaigns against local law enforcement involvement in deportations and litigated ICE detainer issues in federal courts. She also worked at the National Immigration Forum doing federal advocacy on immigrant rights and border policy.
Lena graduated with honors from the George Washington University Law School, where she served on the journal for International Law in Domestic Courts. She earned her B.A. in history from Wesleyan University. Lena is a member of the California bar and she speaks Spanish.
Mary Yanik - Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director, Tulane Immigrant Rights Clinic
Mary Yanik is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Tulane Immigrant Rights Clinic. She specializes in assisting immigrant workers, including victims of labor trafficking, and in defending the constitutional rights of immigrants. Yanik previously worked at the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, leading a law & organizing practice in support of community-directed campaigns for labor, migrant, and racial justice. She has represented dozens of immigrant workers in reporting labor abuse to the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and to the National Labor Relations Board, as well as in seeking immigration protections because of their labor exploitation. Yanik received her J.D. from Yale Law School and, before that, received degrees in Chemistry and Government/Politics from the University of Maryland. After law school, she clerked for Judge David F. Hamilton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Jessica Bansal - Legal Director, Unemployed Workers United
Jessica Bansal (she/her) is the Legal Director of Unemployed Workers United. Before joining UWU, Jessica worked as Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Southern California and Co-Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. She has litigated high-impact cases including Ramos v. Nielsen (preserving the immigration status of hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries of the humanitarian Temporary Protected Status program), Hernandez Roman v. Wolf (winning the release of hundreds of people from ICE detention during the pandemic), and Gonzalez v. ICE (challenging unconstitutional immigration detainer arrests). She worked closely on ground-breaking immigrants' rights legislation, including the California Values Act, and has represented numerous immigrant workers subjected to retaliation for defending their labor rights. Jessica was previously an Adjunct Professor with the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the UC Irvine School of Law and law clerk for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Ann Garcia - Staff Attorney, National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)
Ann Garcia is a Staff Attorney at the National Immigration Project (NIPNLG). Her work at NIPNLG is focused on holding DHS accountable through advocacy, litigation, and training. Before joining NIPNLG, she ran projects at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) to assist separated families and free immigrants from detention. Ann’s work appears regularly in national media. She previously started a detained removal defense program at the RAICES office in Fort Worth, Texas as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. Ann is a graduate of the American University Washington College of Law, where she was on the editorial board of the ABA’s Administrative Law Review. She has a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. Prior to law school, Ann worked on immigration policy at the Center for American Progress.
Lynn Damiano Pearson - Consulting Attorney, National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
Lynn Damiano Pearson is an attorney with a background in immigration law, criminal defense, and appellate advocacy. She previously worked at Tahirih Justice Center in Atlanta, where she provided direct representation and technical assistance in humanitarian-based cases before USCIS and EOIR, including asylum and T/U visas, and developed an appellate project with cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals and 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Lynn later co-founded Sur Legal Collaborative, an organization that works at the intersection of immigrant and worker rights in the South. At Sur, Lynn led the immigration practice, representing survivors of labor trafficking and workers seeking deferred action, as well as women detained at the notorious Irwin County Detention Center. She currently works as a consulting attorney on labor-related immigration matters at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
Bliss Requa-Trautz - Executive Director, Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center
Bliss Requa-Trautz is the Executive Director of Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center. The Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center unites day laborers, domestic workers, immigrant workers, and low-wage workers to defend their rights, fight for dignity, and win justice for all. She brings more than a decade of experience in community organizing around issues of economic justice, immigrant justice, and education. She holds Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a Labor Studies Certificate from the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Labor Studies and Worker Education at City University of New York