During our annual early summer conference, IJC brings together Fellows, past and present, to connect, learn and grow in their careers as immigration advocates. This year, our gathering was aptly titled, Aggressive Immigration Advocacy: Besting the Beast.
We were honored to have Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, give the keynote address. Commissioner Mostofi welcomed and thanked IJC Fellows for their commitment to immigration legal representation in NYC and across the U.S.
The conference offered trainings that addressed cutting edge advocacy methods in immigration court and USCIS representation, in particular honing in on avenues for challenging this administration’s unchecked assault on immigrant communities. Amongst our esteemed faculty of trainers – which consisted of colleagues and partners from host organizations, such as the New York Legal Assistance Group, Safe Horizon, and Legal Services of New York – we also brought former IJC Fellows Caitlin Miner-Le Grand, now a Staff Attorney at New York City Bar Justice Center, and Alex Holtzmann, Staff Attorney at Safe Passage Project, to the presenter’s podium.
The conference closed with an informal ceremony for our Fellows who are leaving the program in August. Each graduate had the opportunity to share their reflections from the past two (or three) years of their Fellowship. It was a wonderful reminder of the benefits of our unique community, where the rewarding and challenging experiences of championing immigrant’s rights can be shared widely and openly with like-minded friends and colleagues.
As we say our good-byes and look to the future, we are happy to note that, of the 36 graduates, six have extended their Fellowship for a third year! We are also pleased to share that, 98% of the Justice Fellows graduating from IJC have secured employment in immigration or related fields.