ACLU of Texas Border Rights Center Policy Counsel
- Job posted by American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
Details: Salary is commensurate with experience, competitive with public interest law firms in Texas and within the parameters of ACLU of Texas’s salary scale.
The ACLU of Texas seeks dynamic, skilled, mission-driven applicants for a new full-time Policy Counsel position at its Border Rights Center (BRC), recently relocated to El Paso, Texas from Las Cruces, NM. Under the BRC Director’s supervision, and working closely with the Legal Director and staff of the ACLU of Texas, the BRC Policy Counsel will participate in policy advocacy, communications, and litigation to protect the civil rights and liberties of immigrants, communities of color, and all border residents.
The BRC is on the front lines in the fight against the federal government’s unconstitutional and inhumane immigration enforcement policies and practices that detrimentally affect roughly 15 million people who call southwest border communities home. The BRC plays a central role in formulating and carrying out border-related policy and advocacy strategies, supporting the legal work of ACLU affiliates on the southern border and relevant ACLU national projects, and coordinating joint strategies and actions to align with national and regional coalitions. The goal is to prevent and mitigate the effects of the government’s harsh immigration enforcement and the abuse of power and militarization of border communities that result in the criminalization of immigrants and mass incarceration.
Under the supervision of the BRC Director and the ACLU of Texas Legal Director, the BRC Policy Counsel will be responsible for working with the four southwest border ACLU affiliates in the following way:
· Expanding the reach of the Center’s mission by engaging in legal, policy and political advocacy to hold the government accountable to the people for harmful border policies and strategizing on tactics that will restore our border communities’ constitutional values;
· Conducting research, as assigned, on a variety of legal and policy issues pertaining to civil and human rights violations by law enforcement agents at or near the U.S.-Mexico border;
· Engaging in pre-litigation and non-litigation advocacy, including preparing and following up on FOIA requests, demand letters, advocacy materials, and public education resources;
· Developing practice advisories, white papers, one-pagers, memoranda, and other reference materials to assist civil rights lawyers in litigating cases against CBP and/or Border Patrol;
· Reviewing and evaluating intakes and identifying legal and/or advocacy strategies based on complaints of border-related abuses, including drafting administrative complaints, and/or legal memoranda;
· Working closely with and providing policy and legal analysis to non-legal program staff at the BRC, the ACLU-TX, AZ, NM and CA, and ACLU national—particularly to pertinent legislative, political, communications, advocacy, and fundraising professionals within these organizations;
· Building and deepening relationships with community partners, coalitions, and stakeholders;
· Ensuring effective delivery of up-to-date “know your rights” materials to affected communities;
· Responding to community needs as they arise, potentially on an emergency basis.
Qualifications and Experience
· J.D. required, with three to five years of litigation and/or policy experience preferred;
· Professional Spanish fluency (written, read and spoken) required;
· Expertise on border-related civil rights and liberties issues, immigration, racial justice, national security, police practices, and/or other relevant issues strongly preferred;
· Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal analysis and fact-finding research;
· Excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills and careful attention to detail;
· Willingness and ability to travel, including across Border Patrol checkpoints and to and from Mexico as necessary, and work beyond business hours, including nights and weekends, as needed;
· A proven ability to work both independently and within a team. Competitive candidates will be self-motivated, will take initiative on tasks, calmly manage a variety of projects, and diligently see projects through to timely completion;
· Ability to effectively communicate legal concepts to a variety of audiences, including but not limited to lawyers, judges, legislators, community residents, coalition partners, policymakers, and the media;
· Excellent interpersonal skills and professionalism, including exhibiting enthusiasm, positivity and optimism about the work;
· Licensed to practice law in Texas (or eligible for immediate admission).
Excellent benefits include a generous Paid Time Off policy, medical, dental and vision insurance; 401(k) plan with an employer match; life and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
Electronic applications in MS Word or PDF format are preferred. Cover letter, resume, and three professional references can be submitted to:
Mail: ACLU of Texas, Attn: BRC Policy Counsel Search, P.O. Box 8306, Houston, TX 77288