Ann Block is a part-time Senior Special Projects Attorney with the ILRC based in Davis and San Francisco. She has been with the ILRC part-time since 2009 on a contract basis, and in 2019 transitioned to a staff position. She also maintains a part-time private practice in Davis, California. Ann has expertise in family immigration, naturalization and citizenship, VAWA and U visas, asylum, removal defense, as well as extensive experience with immigration consequences of criminal convictions. She provides technical assistance through the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day program, mentoring and assisting nonprofit attorneys and staff, public defenders and private attorneys with a wide variety of immigration law questions and cases.
She has contributed to several ILRC manuals, including Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit; Naturalization & U.S. Citizenship; Inadmissibility and Deportability; The VAWA Manual; The “U” Visa; Hardship in Immigration Law; Families and Immigration; Inadmissibility and Deportability; FOIA Requests and Other Background Checks; Removal Defense: Defending Immigrants in Immigration Court; and A Guide for Immigration Advocates/ Ann has authored articles, presented webinars, led the ILRC 40 hour basic immigration law training, and has served as a panelist on a number of immigration issues for the ILRC, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG).
Prior to the ILRC, Ann gained extensive private and nonprofit experience as a staff attorney with Park & Associates, Catholic Charities in San Mateo, the International Institute of San Francisco, and her own solo private practice. Ann has additional teaching experience as a former adjunct professor at McGeorge School of Law, supervising the Immigration Clinic and teaching the podium course on Immigration Law. She has also served on the California State Bar’s Immigration and Nationality Law Commission (INLAC), the entity that certifies attorneys as immigration law specialists, including as both vice-chair and chair of INLAC.
Ann earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis where she represented clients through the prison law and immigration law clinics. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she double-majored in psychology and political science. Ann is admitted to the bar in California and is conversant in Spanish, with working knowledge of written French.
Ariel Brown joined the ILRC in April 2017. After five years in private practice at a well-respected immigration firm in Sacramento, Schoenleber & Waltermire, PC, Ariel brings extensive practical experience to the ILRC. She has experience filing numerous immigration applications and regularly appearing before USCIS, ICE, and EOIR, with cases spanning the areas of removal defense, family-based adjustment of status and consular processing, DACA, naturalization, SIJS, U visas, and VAWA. She was also involved in establishing Sacramento’s rapid response network to respond to immigration enforcement action, and served as an American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)-USCIS liaison.
Ariel contributes to the ILRC’s Attorney of the Day legal technical assistance program, as well as writing and updating practice advisories and manuals and presenting on family-based topics for ILRC webinars.
Prior to joining the ILRC, Ariel also briefly volunteered with the International Institute of the Bay Area in Oakland, and Catholic Charities of the East Bay in Richmond. In law school, Ariel was a student advocate with the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, assisting with cancellation of removal cases for indigent noncitizens, and an editor for the Journal of International Law and Policy.
Ariel earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis, and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in anthropology. Ariel is admitted to the state bar in California.
Catherine Seitz is the Legal Director at the International Institute of the Bay Area. She is a former Chair for the Northern California chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and co-author of the ILRC’s U Visa Manual. Catherine has a J.D. from U.C. Hastings and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from U.C. Berkeley. She has been working in the field of immigration law since 1990 starting out as a legal assistant and then a BIA Accredited Representative before her admission to the California Bar in December of 2001. Before joining the International Institute in February of 2019, she worked at Legal Services for Children as their Legal Director and Bay Area Legal Aid as their Regional Immigration Coordinator where she focused on immigration relief for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Prior to that, she worked at Canal Alliance, the International Institute of the East Bay, and the private immigration law firm of Simmons & Ungar. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.