Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project – Kino Border Initiative Legal Fellow – open until filled

Position: Fellow
Open to: Persons who are licensed to practice law in any US state
Time commitment: Full-time, 18 months with potential for renewal
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Recommended Skills/Prerequisites: Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish is required.
Application Process: email a resume, letter of interest, three references, and writing sample to jobs@firrp.org, with “FIRRP-KBI Legal Fellow” in the subject line.
Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with plans to finalize hiring no later than summer 2017
Contact: Email jobs@firrp.org

The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) is a binational, Catholic and Jesuit organization founded in 2008 and located in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora. It focuses its work on humanitarian assistance, education, research, and advocacy to promote humane, just, and workable migration policy. Humanitarian services include an aid center for recently deported migrants and migrants in transit in Nogales, Sonora and a women’s and children’s shelter.

The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP) was founded in 1989 to respond to a representation crisis for indigent non-citizens detained at the rural Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. Through our programs today, we provide services to the more than 4,000 men, women, and children that are detained in Arizona on any given day. The Florence Project is nationally known for its legal service delivery systems which ensure that detained people are empowered and have access to justice. The Florence Project provides high quality legal services and supports initiatives for national changes in immigration law and policy.

The FIRRP-KBI Legal Fellow is a unique partnership between the two organizations to enhance representation of asylum-seekers detained in Arizona. The FIRRP-KBI Legal Fellow will provide direct representation to asylum seekers who initially received services at the KBI aid center in Nogales, Sonora before presenting for asylum in the United States. The Fellow will represent such individuals in the credible fear process, in immigration courts for both removal and custody proceedings, and before the Board of Immigration Appeals. The FIRRP-KBI Fellow will also collaborate on advocacy efforts to protect and improve due process in the asylum process. This may include documenting cases in which individuals were wrongfully removed despite expressing fear to CBP and developing expert resources for Mexican asylum seekers. The FIRRP-KBI Fellow will be an employee of FIRRP, but will work closely with KBI as well.

This is an 18 month position with possibility of renewal, depending on funding. This position is based out of FIRRP’s Tucson office, but requires frequent travel to the detention facilities and Immigration Courts in Eloy and Florence and regular travel to the KBI aid center in Nogales, Sonora.

The FIRRP-KBI Legal Fellow responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Directly representing individuals who are detained by ICE after having received services through the KBI aid center in the bond and parole process as well as the credible fear and removal proceedings.
  • Referring clients who are released from ICE custody to appropriate pro bono resources in their destination community when such resources are available.
  • Conducting regular Know Your Rights presentations and individualized orientations at the KBI aid center for migrants in Nogales, Sonora, on average twice a month
  • Providing in-person consultations for individuals at the KBI aid center in Nogales, Sonora who are considering seeking asylum in the United States, as well as over-the-phone consultations in urgent cases.
  • Documenting cases of individuals wrongfully removed through the expedited and reinstatement of removal process and collaborating in the preparation of reports and advocacy documents explaining the legal implications of wrongful removal.
  • Gathering resources on expert witnesses and country conditions to serve as evidence for Mexican asylum seekers.
  • Proactively communicating with KBI and supervisors at the Florence Project. Engaging in joint quarterly meetings to review case load, documentation for advocacy efforts, and other emerging considerations.

This is a full-time, salaried exempt position. Salary is competitive for our network. The Florence Project strives to create and uphold a positive, supportive, and inclusive working environment for staff. We offer excellent benefits, including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, with full premiums paid by the Florence Project. After two years of employment, staff members are eligible for the employer matching retirement plan. Paid time off includes 1- personal day each month in addition to 15-days of vacation and 12-days of sick/medical leave annually, 4 weeks of maternity –paternity leave (up to 12 weeks total, with options to use personal, vacation, and sick paid time off for unpaid portion), and bereavement leave. The Florence Project observes all federal holidays. After three years of employment with the Florence Project, staff members are eligible for an 8-week paid sabbatical.

Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish is required. The applicant must be licensed to practice law in any U.S. state. We seek applicants who have a demonstrated commitment to immigration issues and public interest law, who enjoy working in a collaborative, bi-national, high volume, and energetic work environment, and who are flexible team players. Prior advocacy, practice, or clinical experience in immigration law and specifically asylum law is strongly preferred. Must have a sharp legal mind, excellent written and oral communication skills, and enjoy challenging casework and litigation. Experience with popular education, facilitation, or public speaking is a plus. Must have a strong commitment to immigrant rights and human rights, and a desire to further the missions of both FIRRP and KBI. Recent law school graduates are invited to apply, as are practitioners with extensive experience.

To apply, please email a resume, letter of interest, three references, and writing sample to jobs@firrp.org, with “FIRRP-KBI Legal Fellow” in the subject line. FIRRP and KBI value diversity in the workplace and strongly encourage applications from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, persons with disabilities, and members of under-represented or disadvantaged communities. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and candidates are encouraged to apply early, with plans to finalize hiring no later than summer 2017. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.