Our Staff, Partners and Supporters
Zizi Bandera, Community Engagement Coordinator
Zizi joined the Immigration Advocates Network in June 2015. They have experience working for immigrant, worker, and LGBT rights as an organizer, policy advocate, and community educator. Most recently, at the Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), they served as Organizer and Community Education Outreach Coordinator. Prior to that they worked at Public Allies in Los Angeles, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Equality California, and the Trevor Project. Zizi is a graduate of the University of California, Riverside and recently completed a Master’s in Public Policy at Mills College. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Nancy Larcher, Volunteer Outreach and Resource Coordinator
Nancy joined Immigration Advocates Network in August 2018 as an AmeriCorps VISTA. She supports immigration nonprofit capacity by creating materials to assist both volunteers and nonprofits. Nancy graduated from Macaulay Honors College at the City College of New York with a B.A. in history and political science in May 2018. During her senior year, she was a Partners for Change fellow and studied mass incarceration in the United States, its intersections with immigration policies, and restorative justice approaches to address violence. Nancy helped conduct a participatory action research project to study college students' impressions of campus mental health services. She has previously interned at Human Rights First and the Office of the New York State Attorney General. Nancy lives in Queens, NY.
Patricia Malone, Associate Director
Pat joined the Immigration Advocates Network in 2011. She has nearly 20 years experience in nonprofit immigration law and project management. She previously worked at Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), where she started a newsletter and hotline; managed local outreach projects; represented immigrants in proceedings; trained and supported immigration practitioners; and, recruited pro bono counsel to represent immigrant children. Prior to CLINIC, Pat worked as managaging attorney at Proyecto Libertad in Harlingen, Texas, representing detained asylum-seekers; and as staff attorney at AYUDA in Washington, D.C., on a wide range of immigration cases. She has a BA from SUNY Oneonta, and a JD from the University of San Francisco.
Ken Ramsey, Project Manager
Ken joined the Immigration Advocates Network in 2010. Previously, Ken worked as an Associate Director and Program Specialist for Church World Service's Immigration and Refugee Program and provided direct services to newly-arrived refugees as a Case Manager with Ecumenical Refugee Services in Denver, Colorado. Ken also lived abroad for several years in the Czech Republic, Thailand, and Poland as an English instructor and worked for an indigenous rights organization, Cultural Survival, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelors degree in Anthropology. Ken lives in New Jersey with his son and two cats.
Sandra Sandoval, Citizenshipworks Program Manager
Sandra joined the Immigration Advocates Network in October 2013. Prior to joining IAN, Sandra worked with San Antonio Immigrant Youth Movement (SAIYM), a youth-led movement to empower undocumented youth by providing resources, tools, and guidance to help navigate the higher education system, while collaborating with other community organizations and leaders to advocate for fair and just immigration laws. She received a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Sebastian Zavala, Immi Program Manager
Sebastian joined the Immigration Advocates Network in May 2015. After law school he became an adjudications officer for USCIS, interviewing applicants for naturalization and permanent residency. He also served as a program director for Catholic Charities of the East Bay and the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA), increasing the capacity of legal programs to serve low-income clients through technology, volunteer management, and cultivating the next generation of immigration advocates. Sebastian is one of the founding members of the East Bay Naturalization Collaborative, the Bay Area DACA Collaborative and the Horn of African Human Rights Network. Sebastian received a B.A. in Raza Studies with an emphasis in behavioral and social sciences from San Francisco State University. He received his J.D. from Arizona State University, with the highest pro bono distinctions. Sebastian lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, daughter and dog.
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation's Immigrants' Rights Project
A leader in defending the core constitutional freedoms of non-citizens, the ACLUF Immigrants' Rights Project brings to the working group its connections to advocates across the United States. In 1987 the ACLUF Immigrants' Rights Project was founded to expand the range, reach, and scope of the ACLU's civil rights and civil liberties work on behalf of non-citizens. The IRP maintains the largest litigation program in the U.S. dedicated to enforcing and preserving the constitutional rights of immigrants. Through the ACLU's network of affiliates and chapters throughout the country, IRP advocates for immigrants' rights at the national, state, and local level. The Immigrants' Rights Project also pursues a national public education campaign to educate the public on the rights of immigrants.
American Bar Association Commission on Immigration
The American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Immigration directs the ABA's efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants and refugees within the United States. The Commission advocates for statutory and regulatory modifications in law and governmental practice consistent with ABA policy; provides continuing education and timely information about trends, court decisions and pertinent developments for members of the legal community, judges, affected individuals and the public; and develops and assists the operation of pro bono programs that encourage volunteer lawyers to provide high quality, effective legal representation for individuals in immigration proceedings, with a special emphasis on the needs of the most vulnerable immigrant and refugee populations. Programs operated by the Commission include Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice (VAIJ), the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR), the Immigration Justice Project (IJP) of San Diego, and the Detention Standards Implementation Initiative (DSII). Among the Commission's greatest concerns are the erosion of due process safeguards, the growing reliance on detention, and the lack of access to legal information and counsel for individuals in immigration proceedings, particularly unaccompanied immigrant children and asylum seekers. The ABA Board of Governors has designated immigration to be a legislative priority of the ABA in each Congress since 1992.
American Immigration Council
The American Immigration Council (formerly the American Immigration Law Foundation) was established in 1987 as a tax-exempt, not-for-profit educational, charitable organization. The Immigration Council is dedicated to strengthening America by honoring our immigrant history and by shaping how the public thinks and acts towards immigration now and in the future. The Immigration Council strives to achieve this goal by: educating citizens about the enduring contributions of America's immigrants; standing up for sensible and humane immigration policies that reflect America's greatest hopes and aspirations; insisting that our laws be enacted and implemented to foster fundamental constitutional and human rights for all; and working to achieve justice and fairness for immigrants under the law.
American Immigration Lawyers Association
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national association of more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. Founded in 1945, AILA is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that provides its members with continuing legal education, information, and expertise through its 36 chapters and over 50 national committees. AILA is dedicated to pro bono service and runs a Military Assistance Program which helps veterans with immigration needs, hosts an Annual Citizenship Day each September, runs a Pro Bono Clinic at its Annual Conference, and supports all of its chapters with their pro bono initiatives. Additionally, AILA and the American Immigration Council run the Immigration Justice Campaign, an initiative that fights for due process and justice for detained noncitizens.
ASISTA's mission is centralizing assistance for advocates and attorneys facing the complex legal problems involved in advocating for immigrant survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, trafficking, and stalking. ASISTA strives to enable service providers to more thoroughly fulfill their purposes. Immigrants are entitled to justice. This includes justice in the areas of domestic abuse, sexual assault, trafficking, and stalking. ASISTA does this through: 1) Technical Assistance: consultants offer technical assistance on VAWA Family Petitions, U- and T-Visas, Adjustment of status, deportation or removal proceedings; 2) Advocacy and Intervention: consultants advocate for public policy changes that help immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and stalking; and intervene with adjudicators to resolve problem cases on behalf of organizations, individual practitioners, and government agencies; 3) Training: consultants give presentations at seminars and conferences held by local and national partner organizations for advocates, law enforcement, attorneys, judges, and prosecutors; and 4) Resource Clearinghouse: a resource clearinghouse, housed at our website, is accessible to all service providers and includes samples, ASISTA Newsletters, best practice tips, fact sheets, case law, amicus briefs, specialty packets, resource materials, and immigration memoranda.
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
CLINIC is a non-profit legal support organization incorporated in 1988 to serve the nation's most vulnerable immigrants, including refugees/asylum-seekers, detainees, families in need of reunification, laborers abused in the workplace, and survivors of violence. CLINIC directly represents at-risk immigrants and manages large-scale direct service programs. After a decade at the helm of the Immigration Management Project, CLINIC is widely regarded as a leader in creating and sustaining immigration legal services capacity. It primarily accomplishes its mission by providing comprehensive training, technical support, and advocacy services for community-based immigration agencies. Its network consists of 173 charitable immigration programs, which operate from more than 260 locations. CLINIC also provides legal and management support to more than 150 charitable agencies outside its formal network.
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national resource center that works to create a society that embraces diversity, respects the dignity and rights of all and values new Americans' contributions to society. The ILRC works to achieve these goals by empowering immigrants, undertaking educational and advocacy initiatives, and providing expert legal information, seminars and consultations on rapidly changing issues to lawyers, paralegals, leaders of community-based and immigrant-based groups and others. ILRC is a leader in developing resources for non-attorney and attorney activists relating to the practice of immigration law. The ILRC's programs are designed to help immigrants effectively engage in the democratic process and are organized in three interconnected areas: civic participation, policy and advocacy, and technical assistance. The ILRC publishes several uniquely practical manuals on immigration law including Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit: Impact of Crimes under California and other State Laws, Naturalization and U.S. Citizenship: The Essential Legal Guide, Hardship in Immigration Law, The VAWA Manual, and other publications.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Since 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has brought new hope and new life to refugees and vulnerable immigrants through ministries of service and justice. Among its major programs, the organization resettles refugees, provides foster care and child welfare services to unaccompanied minors, and increases access to justice for asylum-seekers and immigrants in detention. LIRS supports national legal and social service networks with training, technical resources, and expert information. LIRS advocates for fundamental justice for the most vulnerable immigrants, and has made strong contributions to children's issues, detention reform, asylum policy, and legal rights education. LIRS engages constituents across the country to create welcoming communities. Since its founding, LIRS has given hundreds of thousands of people a new start in the United States.
National Immigration Law Center
Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is a national legal advocacy organization whose mission focuses exclusively on protecting and promoting the rights of low-income immigrants and their families. For the past 28 years, NILC has been widely recognized and trusted as a national leader and partner in the immigrant rights advocacy field, with a staff that has decades of experience in our core programmatic areas of immigration law and the employment and public benefit rights of low-income immigrants. NILC uses multiple, complementary strategies to carry out the organization's mission, including law reform and impact litigation, legal analysis and support to public interest advocates, policy research and analysis, trainings, and educational materials produced for a broad spectrum of audiences. In this way, NILC provides immigrant rights organizations a range of tools they can use to develop their capacity to help shape local, state, and federal policies affecting the lives of immigrants.
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
The National Immigration Project is a non-profit membership organization of lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers working to defend and expand the rights of all immigrants in the U.S. The Project is especially committed to advocating for the most disenfranchised and vulnerable immigrants and provides information and technical assistance regarding numerous immigration issues. With more than 30 years of experience in the field and expertise in the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, issues affecting noncitizens with HIV, and the immigration provisions of the Violence Against Women Act, the Project's assistance is considered invaluable by many in the immigrants' rights field. The Project edits several valuable immigration reference books including Immigration Law and Defense, Immigration Law and Crimes, Immigration Law and the Family, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook and other important publications.
Pro Bono Net
Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization based in New York City that works to increase access to justice for the poor. Founded in 1998, the organization has grown from a unique experiment to a respected institution within the public interest legal community. Pro Bono Net works in close partnership with nonprofit legal organizations across the country to increase access to justice for the millions of poor people who face legal problems every year without help from a lawyer. PBN does this by (i) supporting the innovative and effective use of technology by the nonprofit legal sector, (ii) working to increase participation by volunteers, and (iii) facilitating collaborations among nonprofit legal organizations and advocates working on similar issues or in the same region.
The Advocates for Human Rights
The Advocates for Human Rights, formerly Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, is dedicated to the promotion and protection of internationally recognized human rights. With the help of over 800 volunteers, The Advocates for Human Rights documents human rights abuses, educates and advocates on human rights issues, and provides training and technical assistance to prevent human rights violations. As the leading center for asylum seekers in the Midwest, The Advocates for Human Rights provides brief and ongoing legal services in more than 1000 cases on behalf of asylum seekers, immigration detainees and immigrants each year.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
J.M. Kaplan Fund
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Open Society Foundations
The Grove Foundation