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The Justice & Diversity Center

Immigrant Legal Defense Program

 

The mission of the Immigrant Legal Defense Program (ILDP) is to increase access to justice and protect the due process rights of low-income and unrepresented immigrants facing deportation. ILDP builds legal capacity and resources in Northern California so agencies are better coordinated and equipped to defend individuals in deportation proceedings in the San Francisco Immigration Court.

The ILDP offers volunteer opportunities for immigration attorneys and interpreters. Learn more about getting involved.

Our Team

ILDP staff members are seasoned immigration attorneys, program directors, paralegals, and case coordinators. Learn more about the team.

Our Projects

Attorneys of the Day (AODs) are experienced immigration lawyers who appear at the San Francisco Immigration Court to assist unrepresented respondents in their initial deportation proceedings. AODs advocate for respondents before the Immigration Judge on the detained, non-detained, and juvenile dockets. They provide individual consultations, legal advice, and referrals to help connect respondents with additional assistance, including full-scope removal defense. We invite you to get involved with the program as an Attorney of the Day or a volunteer legal interpreter!
 

  • San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative

    The San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative (SFILDC) is a collective of 15 San Francisco organizations that provide free, high-quality, culturally competent legal services to adults, children, and families in removal proceedings. JDC serves as the SFILDC’s legal lead and provides services coordination, legal training, technical assistance, and advocacy support to member agencies.

     
  • Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice

    The Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (NCCIJ) is a collective of Bay Area legal service providers dedicated to providing high-quality pro bono legal services to immigrants detained in the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Immigration Court. JDC serves as the fiscal lead for NCCIJ-funded legal service providers and provides services coordination, legal training, technical assistance, and advocacy support to the larger Collaborative.
     
  • Santa Clara County Removal Defense Coordination

    As part of the AOD Program, JDC provides special trainings and interpretation services for immigration attorneys interested in serving as AODs and providing removal defense services to Santa Clara County residents. JDC has also developed special intake and referral procedures for Santa Clara County residents, especially those with criminal convictions that may make them ineligible for county-funded services.
     
  • AILA Mesa Verde Pro Bono Project

    The AILA Mesa Verde Pro Bono Project was founded by Centro Legal de la Raza and Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto to coordinate pro bono legal representation for asylum-seekers in immigration detention in the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Immigration Court. The project was founded in 2015 in response to opening of the Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield, CA. Mesa Verde, the largest and most remote detention facility in the region, detains the majority of the region’s recent-arrival asylum seekers. JDC is now the lead coordinator for the project’s referral and placement of cases with pro bono counsel. JDC also provides ongoing mentorship to pro bono attorneys, in collaboration with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and additional legal assistance to unrepresented asylum seekers.

  • Northern California Rapid Response Network

    The Northern California Rapid Response Network (NCRRN) is a collaborative effort by immigration and civil rights advocates to respond to immigration enforcement actions in Northern California. The Network’s goal is to protect individuals’ due process rights and help keep families together in every community within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Immigration Court, from Bakersfield to the Oregon border.