Immigrant Justice Corps, a New York City-based nonprofit that recruits, trains, and populates the immigration field with high-quality legal advocates, has announced the recipients of its 2019 Justice Fellowships.
Selected from graduates of elite law schools — including Harvard, NYU, UC Hastings, UCLA, the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, Yale, the Cardozo School of Law, Michigan State University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas — twenty-seven new lawyers will serve for two years at top legal services agencies, where they will represent immigrants fighting deportation and seeking lawful status and citizenship. While salaries and benefits vary by host agency, IJC guarantees each fellow a minimum salary of $56,000, health insurance coverage, and at least three weeks' paid time off. This year, in addition to its presence in New York, Connecticut, Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Maryland, the program is being expanded to California and Nevada.
More than a third of this year's fellows are first-generation immigrants, and all are bilingual, with 96 percent speaking Spanish; other languages spoken by this year's fellowship cohort include Arabic, Mandarin, French, Haitian Creole, Kiswahili, Hindi, and Wolof.
Conceived by Robert A. Katzmann, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and incubated by the Robin Hood Foundation in 2013, the Immigrant Justice Fellowship is the first U.S. fellowship program wholly dedicated to meeting immigrants' need for high-quality legal assistance. "For thousands of immigrants," said Katzmann, "lack of resources will no longer prevent access to justice. Because of Immigrant Justice Corps' fellows, immigrants will have a far better chance to realize the American dream for themselves and their families."
"We are thrilled to welcome and support our talented 2019 fellows, whose dedication and commitment to service is exemplary," said IJC executive director Jojo Annobil. "Now more than ever, immigrants need well-trained and high-caliber lawyers committed to protecting their due process rights. I am confident that the 2019 fellows will make a difference in immigrants' lives every day."
For a complete list of 2019 Immigrant Justice Fellows, see the IJC site.