Avantika Shastri is the Assistant Director of the Immigrant Legal Defense Program at Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco (JDC). She is also the Legal Director for the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative (SFILDC). She oversees and coordinates the removal defense representation provided by the 15 partner organizations in the SFILDC, including legal strategy, collective advocacy, intakes and referrals, rapid response services, and legal training. Avantika also supervises and supports the legal programs of JDC’s Immigrant Legal Defense Program. Prior to her position at JDC, Avantika was in private practice for 11 years at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale in San Francisco, where she represented immigrants before the immigration agencies and federal courts. She specialized in removal defense, appellate litigation, family-based immigration, naturalization, and the immigration consequences of crimes. Avantika received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.
Siobhan Waldron joined the Immigration team as a Staff Attorney in May 2016. Prior to joining Centro, Siobhan worked at the Immigration Center for Women and Children in Los Angeles, where she specialized in serving as appointed counsel under Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder for individuals in removal proceedings who are detained by the Department of Homeland Security and who were found incompetent to represent themselves due to mental health issues. Prior to focusing on removal defense, she handled U Visa, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), I-751 Battered Spouse Waivers, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) cases – and derivative petitions/consular processing/adjustment of status/waivers/naturalization related to those cases. Siobhan received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2012, where she specialized in the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies Program. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 in Legal Studies and Spanish, with a concentration in Hispanic Languages and Bilingual Issues. During and after college, Siobhan volunteered with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking individuals seeking asylum. Also at that time, she began visiting and working in solidarity with isolated rural villages in El Salvador with the Oakland-based non-profit organization the Central American Refugee Committee (CRECE).
Ilyce Shugall is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. She recently served as Directing Attorney of the Immigration Program at Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) from 2012-2017. Under Ilyce’s leadership, CLSEPA’s staff grew from four to twenty, and its immigration attorneys became amongst the first responders to the 2014 surge crisis in the immigration courts. Ilyce has also worked with San Francisco area collaboratives to secure funding for non-profits to provide pro bono representation to individuals in removal proceedings. During that effort, she served temporarily as the legal director for the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative at the Bar Association of San Francisco. For 10 years, Ilyce was a partner at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP. Before joining the private sector, she worked at the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) as a National Association of Public Interest Law/Equal Justice Fellow. Ilyce received the 2016 National Pro Bono Services Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association; and was a 2015 Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “Women of Influence” awardee. Ilyce has served as a commissioner on the State Bar of California Commission on Immigration and Nationality Law. She was NIPNLG’s update editor for Immigration Law and the Family from 2012-2017, and has published numerous articles on immigration law. Prior to joining NIPNLG in April 2019 as executive director, Ilyce served for 18 months as an immigration judge in the San Francisco Immigration Court. Ilyce holds a JD from DePaul University College of Law, and a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is thrilled to take up the helm of an organization she loves, and invites NIPNLG members, supporters, potential supporters, and impacted community groups to contact her, toward furthering NIPNLG’s mission for immigrant justice.