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BASF and JDC Launch Immigration Representation Task Force

February 7, 2017 – San Francisco, CA – Merri A. Baldwin, 2017 president of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and its Justice & Diversity Center (JDC), announced today the formation of an Immigration Representation Task Force, an advisory group tasked with identifying, evaluating and recommending services and policy opportunities in the interest of protecting and advancing the rights of immigrant communities.

According to Baldwin, “BASF has long been involved in legal representation for people in immigration proceedings through our Attorney of the Day program at the immigration court, where attorneys assist unrepresented immigrants in removal proceedings. For the last year, BASF has also served as the lead attorney for the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative, a group of community-based organizations that provide legal representation to people in removal proceedings, particularly unaccompanied minors and families.”

The task force is made up of board members, immigration attorneys, and community leaders with a purpose and mission to “identify, evaluate and recommend services and policy opportunities in the interest of protecting and advancing the rights of immigrant communities.  The task force is an advisory body to the Boards of Directors of BASF and JDC.  The task force will consider potential actions to increase access to legal representation and due process, including maximizing JDC’s immigration collaborative coordinating role, drafting policy statements, recommending amicus participation, and supporting pending legislation.”

The members of the task force include:


Merri A. Baldwin, Task Force Chair
Rogers Joseph O'Donnell

Khaldoun Baghdadi
Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger

Christine Brigagliano
Van der Hout, Brigagliano and Nightingale

Doris Cheng
Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger

Alicia Gámez
Law Office of Alicia M. Gámez

Bill Ong Hing
University of San Francisco School of Law

Sebastian Kaplan
Fenwick & West

Chris Kearney
Keker Van Nest & Peters

Vid Prabhakaran
Davis Wright Tremaine

Tony Schoenberg
Farella Braun + Martel

Jayashri Srikantiah
Stanford Law School

BASF/JDC Staff

Yolanda Jackson, BASF/JDC Executive Director

Carole Conn, Lawyer Referral and Information Service, Public Service Programs Director

Avantika Shastri, JDC/Legal Director, San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative