Attorneys Needed to Help Respond to Immigration Raids

Consistent with our Grand Alliance work, Equal Justice Society has partnered with the San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network (SFILEN). In the course of this collaboration, the need for more Rapid Response attorneys has arisen.

Two attorneys, Francisco Ugarte, staff attorney at SFILEN, and Sin Yen Ling, staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, form part of the San Francisco Rapid Response Network. They have offered to train interested attorneys to become part of the Network and help with providing initial representation and consultation to raid detainees in the event of an ICE Raid.

San Francisco’s Rapid Response Network responds to immigration raids where three or more people are detained at the same time. Once there has been a raid, detainees can be moved to another jurisdiction which cuts off communication with loved ones and undermines the ability for advocates to assist detainees.

Rapid response attorneys are needed to, among other things, establish initial representation, gather facts about the raid and advise raid victims of their rights. Once an attorney has asserted representation at the detention center, law enforcement and immigration authorities have a harder time transferring detainees to other jurisdictions. After an attorney as part of the Rapid Response Network has asserted representation, the client would be represented by Network attorneys for their full case or, depending on the Network’s capacity, referred to a pro bono attorney.

In order to join the Rapid Response Network, you will need to attend a two hour training which will be held on February 26th, 2009 from 7-9pm at the Rosenberg Foundation at 131 Steuart Street, Suite 650 in San Francisco.

After the training, you will be added to the list of attorneys who are called upon if there is another ICE or local law enforcement raid. Though we cannot predict how often this will occur (and frankly we hope it won’t at all) and therefore cannot predict how many volunteer hours you can expect, the more attorneys available, the less work for all involved.

Space is limited so, if you are interested in joining the Rapid Response Network, please send Claudia Peña an email at or call at (415) 398-3099.

MCLE credit is pending approval.

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