Immigration Staff Attorney - NYIFUP

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary commensurate with experience.



Application Deadline



360 East 161st Street
United States


The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks several immigration attorneys with a commitment to social justice and experience serving individuals in racially and socioeconomically marginalized communities to to join our dynamic staff.


BxD is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic staff.

Our diverse staff of over 350 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.

Each year, we defend 27,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve, and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.

Role & Responsibilities

Immigration Practice

The Bronx Defenders pioneered the model of integrated criminal defense and immigration representation over fifteen years ago. Immigration attorneys work closely with clients and their advocates throughout the pendency of their cases in both Criminal and Family Court to avoid or mitigate negative immigration consequences. Additionally, immigration attorneys at BxD represent clients in removal proceedings in both detained and non-detained settings, provide affirmative immigration services, and pursue community-based systemic reform litigation and advocacy aimed at reforming unforgiving federal immigration laws. Since November 2013, our immigration attorneys have also served as assigned counsel at the Varick Street Immigration Court under the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, the first-ever universal representation project in immigration court. The Immigration Practice consists of over 30 attorneys (including the Managing and Legal Directors and five supervisors), four social workers and four legal advocates.

Within the Immigration Practice, NYIFUP attorneys represent a full caseload of detained (and non-detained if released) non-citizens in their removal proceedings primarily at the Varick Street Immigration Court. As a member of an interdisciplinary team, NYIFUP attorneys work with other immigration attorneys, as well as non-attorney advocates and social workers, to provide robust removal defense encompassing the following responsibilities:

  • Conducting intake and taking on as clients all eligible respondents in Immigration Court the morning before their first master calendar
  • Representing clients on the full scope of matters before the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) Immigration Court related to the removal case, including
  • Bond hearings
  • Taking pleadings; assessing viability of and pursuing various challenges to removability where appropriate, including claims of U.S. citizenship or legal challenges to the criminal grounds of removability or inadmissibility
  • Representing mentally ill clients and where appropriate, pursuing relief including termination or administrative closure under Matter of M-A-M
  • Filing applications for relief, including but not limited to asylum; withholding of removal; deferral of removal under CAT; adjustment of status; LPR and Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal; Special Immigration Juvenile Status; U- and T-visas
  • Collecting supporting documents and writing legal briefs
  • Conducting individual hearings
  • Appealing to the Board of Immigration Appeals and filing Petitions for Review to the Second Circuit
  • Filing habeas petitions as necessary
  • Visiting with detained clients in New Jersey and upstate New York, as well as meeting with released clients and family members, to discuss their cases and prepare their defense
  • Representing clients on related matters before before Family Court and USCIS as necessary


Applicants must demonstrate:

  • Dedication to representing immigrants who have been accused or convicted of crimes facing removal from the U.S.
  • Commitment to public service, as well as to working with clients from economically and racially marginalized communities
  • High levels of motivation, creativity, and flexibility
  • Excellent research, writing, and courtroom advocacy skills
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability and desire to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • The ability to work and problem-solve under pressure

Applicants must have:

  • Graduated from an American Bar Association accredited law school
  • Admission to (or eligibility for admission to) the bar in at least one state or Puerto Rico
  • Prior experience in immigration law required; experience in representing non-citizens in removal proceedings strongly preferred
  • Because some clients are detained in facilities a short drive from New York City, a valid driver’s license is required (car is provided)


Excellent benefits.

Level of Language Proficiency

  • Spanish fluency or high proficiency is required as the job requires extensive legal counseling and representation in the Spanish language

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided, select the position of interest,please click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload both cover letter and resume as a single document when prompted. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.

The application deadline is Wednesday, September 24, 2018, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified. Please contact Sarah Deri Oshiro, Managing Director, Immigration Practice, via email at with any questions regarding the position.



The Bronx Defenders is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.