With the assistance of local volunteer attorneys, our network aims to train and prepare legal assistance teams with the ability to provide emergency legal assistance for individuals who are not guaranteed a right to counsel. Please find a general description of volunteer roles currently available within the Network, as well as a membership survey for legal practitioners.
Volunteers who are not legal practitioners, including translators and community advocates; find more information on how to get involved.
Please note that as this project continues to develop, we may revise the volunteer program.
Fully Accredited BIA representatives may also sign up for volunteer attorney roles.
Program Overview and Checklist for Legal Practitioners
The Rapid Response network is undertaking a volunteer survey at this time to assess the volunteer resources and interest available for the development of a regional rapid response program. We have an initial plan for a rapid response network that will be refined based on the results to this survey. Responding to this survey does not obligate you to undertake any particular responsibility at this time. The results will allow us to develop the structure of the rapid response in light of the actual skills, capacity and needs of volunteers.
- Review the Program Overview and understand volunteer roles and expectations
- Sign up as a volunteer by completing the following survey
- Receive follow up information within a few weeks of completing the survey, including the Memorandum of Understanding for Volunteers and specifics with regard to program structure.
The network will assign volunteers to specific attorney roles based on their experience and program needs. Immigration experience may be necessary for some roles, while training opportunities and mentorship will be provided for individuals who have no immigration experience.
Anticipated Volunteer Attorney Roles
Emergency ICE On-site Attorney:
Who: Given the quick and high stakes intake and analysis that must be done, ideally, these volunteers will be immigration attorneys. Experienced removal practitioners in particular are encouraged to sign up for this role. However, in the event that there is a shortage of immigration attorneys, qualified and trained non-immigration attorneys may also be called upon to assist.
What: This role involves being available to go to the San Francisco ICE office or one of the five regional ICE sub-offices to assist detainees if an immigration enforcement action occurs (Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento, San Jose, Stockton).
Scope of representation: Limited scope. These attorneys will be expected to enter an appearance on behalf of the individual on the day of the arrest, if possible, and continue to represent him or her for a short period of time afterwards until the next steps in the case are determined.
Emergency ICE Off-site Attorney:
Who: These attorneys may be immigration or non-immigration practitioners.
What: This role involves assisting Emergency ICE On-site Attorneys with emergency representation in the event of an enforcement action. These attorneys will be on-call at their offices to provide legal assistance for emergency filings to the San Francisco Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, or Ninth Circuit.
Scope of representation: Limited and full scope depending on the matter. For some of these actions, the attorney may need to enter an appearance before the relevant agency. It would be ideal if the Off-site Attorney could provide both emergency and long-term representation in the case.
Who: These attorneys will be experienced immigration removal defense practitioners.
What: These attorneys will be available to assist with questions that may arise in the course of rapid response representation or longer term representation.
Scope of representation: Advice. These attorneys will not enter an appearance on behalf of the detainees.
Intermediate Representation Attorneys:
Who: These attorneys may be immigration or non-immigration practitioners, depending on the particular responsibility.
What: Immigration attorneys will assist unrepresented respondents with bond hearings, and provide representation for reinstatement and other types of interviews.
Non-immigration and immigration attorneys may assist respondents with credible fear and reasonable fear interviews.
Scope of representation: Limited scope. These attorneys will assist the respondent in the interview or hearing, and for a short period of time afterwards until the next steps in the case are determined.
Long-term Representation Attorneys:
Who: Immigration and non-immigration attorneys
What: These attorneys will assist with long-term representation of cases before the Immigration Court (including motions to suppress or merits cases), Ninth Circuit cases, motions to reopen to BIA, and other types of cases, such as tort actions for ICE misconduct.
Scope of representation: Full-scope.