This webinar will cover the different types of background checks commonly used by immigration practitioners and their clients, including FOIA, FBI, state, and court-specific records requests. We will explain the types of records obtainable from each request and offer tips on how and where to file records requests. Using examples, we will walk through when each type of records request may or may not be appropriate for your client’s situation.
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.
Sharon manages initiatives to maximize the collective and collaborative work of the ILRC’s attorneys. Sharon also contributes to the ILRC’s legal technical assistance resources, including writing and updating practice advisories and manuals. Prior to this position, Sharon was the special projects director for the New Americans Campaign, Ready Bay Area, and the Oakland Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Collaborative, where she managed several of the ILRC’s regranting programs.
Before joining the ILRC, Sharon was a litigation associate at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP. Sharon clerked for the Honorable Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She previously worked for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.
Sharon earned her law degree from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law, with a specialization in critical race studies and concentration in the Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. While in law school, she worked with Legal Services of Northern California, Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, and ACLU of Northern California. She also served as editor-in-chief of the Asian Pacific American Law Journal and co-chair of the El Centro Legal Reentry Legal Clinic. Sharon received her undergraduate degrees in fine art, international development studies, and history cum laude from the University of California Los Angeles, where she was a regents scholar. She is conversant in Cantonese and is a member of the State Bar of California.