Lena Graber is a national expert on the role of local police in immigration enforcement and the use of ICE detainers. She has spent more than a decade supporting organizers and lawyers around the country to fight unfair and often illegal detention of immigrants, and to push for pro-immigrant local policies. Lena spearheads ILRC’s national work combatting immigration enforcement and providing comprehensive advocacy resources and trainings to the immigrant rights movement. In the last several years, Lena has written and consulted on local and state-wide sanctuary policies in dozens of states and trained hundreds of organizers and policymakers to better understand and dismantle the machinery of detention and deportation. Lena joined the ILRC in 2013, and she has co-authored several ILRC publications including Motions to Suppress: Protecting the Constitutional Rights of Immigrants in Removal Proceedings; FOIA Requests and Other Background Checks; DACA: The Essential Legal Guide; and Parole in Immigration Law.Prior to the ILRC, Lena was a Soros Justice Fellow at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, where she supported campaigns against local law enforcement involvement in deportations and litigated ICE detainer issues in federal courts. She also worked at the National Immigration Forum doing federal advocacy on immigrant rights and border policy.Lena graduated with honors from the George Washington University Law School, where she served on the journal for International Law in Domestic Courts. She earned her B.A. in history from Wesleyan University. Lena is a member of the California bar and she speaks Spanish.
Andrew Wachtenheim, Staff Attorney - ILRC
Andrew joined the ILRC as a staff attorney in 2019 and focuses on a range of issues involving the consequences of criminal legal system contact for noncitizens. He has worked at this intersection of immigration and criminal law for nearly a decade, first as a staff attorney at The Bronx Defenders and then as a supervising litigation attorney at the Immigrant Defense Project. In those capacities, he engaged in impact litigation affecting the rights of immigrants in the criminal legal system and their vulnerability to deportation, represented noncitizens in removal proceedings in detained and nondetained immigration court cases in New York and New Jersey and in affirmative applications before the immigration agencies, challenged ICE enforcement abuses, advised noncitizens with pending cases in criminal and family courts, and co-led an advocacy campaign in New York seeking to end ICE arrests of immigrants attending state court proceedings. He is a frequent presenter and trainer on representing and defending immigrants with criminal convictions and currently sits on the Advisory Committee to the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration. He is a graduate of Fordham Law School, where he was a Stein Scholar for Public Interest Law and Ethics. He speaks Spanish and is conversant in French.
Raja Jorjani, Immigration Defense Attorney - Office of the Alameda County Public Defender
Raha Jorjani is an Immigration Defense Attorney with the Office of the Alameda County Public Defender in Oakland, California and directs California’s first public defender Immigration Representation Unit. The Unit received the 2016 “Program of the Year” award from the California Public Defender’s Association. From 2007 until 2014, Raha served as a Clinical Professor at the UC Davis School of Law in the immigration law clinic. Since 2005, Raha has provided pro bono representation and legal assistance to hundreds of immigrants, most of them detained, before the Immigration Court, BIA, U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, and California state courts. Raha regularly conducts trainings for attorneys and state court judges on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. In 2016, she was selected as one of eight fellows for the Rosenberg Foundation’s Inaugural Leading Edge Fellowship and in 2017, she received the Community Service Award from the Iranian American Bar Association’s Northern California Chapter. In 2018, she was honored by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild for her contributions to immigrant justice.