In this webinar, we will delve into one of the most valuable assets we have when defending immigrants, the community. We will hear directly from organizers, system-impacted people, and attorneys, regarding the value of mounting a holistic defense which centers the immigrant community.
Grisel Ruiz, Supervising Attorney - ILRC
Grisel Ruiz is a Supervising Attorney in San Francisco where she focuses on the intersection between immigration law and criminal law. This includes advising attorneys and advocates on the immigration consequences of criminal offenses, training on removal defense, and supporting local and statewide campaigns to push back on immigration enforcement. In addition to technical assistance, training, and campaign support in these areas, Grisel also helps lead the ILRC’s state legislative work. Grisel is currently the Board Chair for Freedom for Immigrants (formerly CIVIC), a nonprofit that advocates for detained immigrants.
Prior to working with the ILRC, Grisel was a litigation associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and a Stimson Fellow housed at the UC Davis Law School Immigration Clinic and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. As a legal fellow, she co-founded “Know Your Rights” programs at local immigration detention centers, for which she received an award from Cosmo for Latinas.
Grisel is an immigrant herself and earned her law degree from the University of Chicago where she received the Tony Patiño Fellowship. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, where she dual majored in Political Science and Spanish Literature. Grisel is admitted to the bar in California is fluent in Spanish.
Jehan Laner Romero, Immigration Attorney & Director of Advocacy - Pangea Legal Services
Growing up in a family and community of immigrants, Jehan is deeply committed to defending the human rights of all people, especially the fundamental right to move.
Jehan joined Pangea in April 2017. Prior to Pangea Legal Services, Jehan represented detained and non-detained immigrants in removal proceedings as an Immigration Legal Fellow with Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto. Jehan also fought for policies to disentangle local law enforcement from immigration enforcement, as a Ford Fellow with Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus’s Criminal Justice Reform program.
During law school, Jehan was a student advocate for two years in the Immigrant Rights Clinic where she defended immigrants facing deportation. In the clinic, she represented asylum seekers in immigration court in New York and Texas and co-authored amicus briefs before the Eighth Circuit and Board of Immigration Appeals. Jehan served as co-chair of the Latino Law Student Association and received the Vanderbilt Medal for outstanding contributions to her law school.
Jehan graduated with a full-tuition academic scholarship magna cum laude, receiving a B.A. in Political Science and Mass Communications with a minor in Civic Engagement from the University of California, Los Angeles. A Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar, she received her law degree from the New York University School of Law (’15).
Jehan is licensed to practice law in California. She speaks English and Spanish.
Sarait Escorza, Silicon Valley De-Bug/Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project
Nora Melendez, Community Member