Non-profit

Immigrant Justice Corps

Website:

justicecorps.org/

Location:

New York, NY, United States

Tax ID:

46-4879076

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $4,271,638
Expenses: $5,535,091
Assets: $9,047,374

Formation:

2014

Type:

Immigration Public Interest Law

Executive Director:

Jojo Annobil

Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) is a non-profit organization that trains attorneys to represent defendants in U.S. immigration proceedings and places them in two-year fellowships with legal groups that advocate for increased legal immigration and other liberal expansionist immigration policies. Immigrant Justice Corps receives several million dollars a year in funding from largely left-of-center foundations and donors, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Robin Hood Foundation, JPB Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. [1]

Background

Immigrant Justice Corps has its roots in a 2007 speech given by Robert Katzmann, now-chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, calling for increased pro bono representation of persons in immigration courts. (Unlike criminal defendants, the government does not provide attorneys to indigent defendants in immigration courts.) Katzmann argued for increasing pro bono representation in immigration courts “because there is a wide disparity in the success rate of those who have lawyers and those who proceed pro se [without legal representation].  For example, several studies have shown that asylum seekers are much more likely to be granted asylum when they are represented in immigration proceedings.” [2]

Judge Katzmann later convened a study group that developed a proposal to create IJC, and has served on its board since the group’s founding. Katzmann was assisted by Nisha Agarwal, who later served as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs under New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I, later D). [3] The group was founded with seed money from the Robin Hood Foundation, which has given IJC nearly $8 million since 2014. [4]

Activities

Immigrant Justice Corps trains “justice fellows,” law school graduates who represent defendants in deportation and asylum proceedings in U.S. immigration courts and before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency. IJC fielded 27 Justice Fellows in its 2019 class from law schools such as Harvard, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, and Yale. These fellows spend two years deployed with community groups that provide representation to immigrants. [5] The group also trains “community fellows,” non-lawyers who can represent immigrants in certain administrative hearings and also assist community organizations that organize immigrant communities for political action. [6]

Besides representing individual defendants, IJC fellows has been active in broader-based challenges to U.S. immigration policy, especially after the Trump Administration took actions such as revoking the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legal-status program and directing asylum seekers to be detained at the border. IJC is among several nonprofits that has organized resistance to U.S. immigration policies at a national level, especially the detention of asylum seekers at U.S. borders,[7] and has filed friend of the court briefs challenging administration policies. [8] IJC fellows consulted with travelers and families at airports after the Trump administration limited entry into the country from certain majority-Muslim countries. [9] IJC also sent attorneys on two-week rotations to an ICE detention camp in Karnes City, Texas, where immigrants were being detained prior to hearings before immigration judges. [10]

Funders

Besides the Robin Hood Foundation, IJC has received multi-million gifts from a number of largely left-of-center foundations. These gifts include approximately $1.25 million over two years from the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust;[11] $1 million over two years from the Leon Levy Foundation;[12] and $4 million over two years from the Bloomberg Family Foundation, funded by former New York City mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg. [13] IJC has also received much smaller grants from the William E. Simon Foundation. [14]

References

  1. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted January 16, 2020. ^
  2. Katzmann, Robert. “The Legal Profession and the Unmet Needs of the Immigrant Poor.” The Orison S. Marden Lecture of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. February 28, 2007. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.nycbar.org/pdf/report/marden9.pdf ^
  3. Chopa, Rupi. “Indian-American lawyer appointed senior adviser in NY Mayor’s admin.” Tribune of India. May 4, 2018. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/archive/indian-american-lawyer-appointed-senior-adviser-in-ny-mayor-s-admn-584070 ^
  4. Robin Hood Foundation. Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF). 2017. Part XV, Line 3; Robin Hood Foundation. Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF). 2016. Part XV, Line 3; Robin Hood Foundation. Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF). 2015. Part XV, Line 3; Robin Hood Foundation. Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF). 2014. Part XV, Line 3. ^
  5. “Introducing IJC’s 2019 Class of Justice Fellows!” Immigrant Justice Corps. June 12, 2019. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://justicecorps.org/the-latest-from-ijc/2019/1/24/introducing-our-newest-class-of-justice-fellows ^
  6. “Community Fellowships.” Immigrant Justice Corps. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://justicecorps.org/community-fellowship ^
  7. “Editorial: How to help migrant children at the border.” Columbus Dispatch. June 26, 2019. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://www.dispatch.com/opinion/20190626/editorial-how-to-help-migrant-children-at-border ^
  8. “Amicus Briefs.” Immigrant Justice Corps. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://justicecorps.org/publications ^
  9. Tiven, Rachel. “The Airport Lawyers Who Stood Up to Trump Are Under Attack.” The Nation. May 19, 2017. Accessed January 12, 2020. https://www.thenation.com/article/the-airport-lawyers-who-stood-up-to-trump-are-under-attack/ ^
  10. Hennessy-Fiske, Molly. “Judge says immigrant families should be released from detention: What happens now?” Los Angeles Times. July 26, 2015. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-family-detention-20150726-story.html ^
  11. Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF). 2017. Part XV, Line 3; Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF). 2016. Part XV, Line 3 ^
  12. Leon Levy Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF), 2017, Part XV, Line 3; Leon Levy Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF), 2016, Part XV, Line 3 ^
  13. Bloomberg Family Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF), 2017, Part XV, Line 3; Bloomberg Family Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF), 2016, Part XV, Line 3 ^
  14. William E. Simon, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990PF), 2016, Part XV, Line 3 ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 2014

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Aug Form 990 $4,271,638 $5,535,091 $9,047,374 $75,465 N $4,264,746 $0 $6,892 $311,674 PDF
    2016 Aug Form 990 $9,052,355 $5,378,206 $10,389,869 $154,507 N $9,052,355 $0 $0 $269,359
    2015 Aug Form 990 $3,912,054 $3,168,947 $6,618,772 $57,559 N $3,912,020 $0 $0 $155,000 PDF
    2014 Aug Form 990 $6,102,170 $284,064 $6,128,170 $310,064 N $6,102,170 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Immigrant Justice Corps

    17 Battery Place Suite 236
    New York, NY 10004-1169
    United States