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Bond Basics and Prolonged Detention Bond Proceedings in the Ninth Circuit, Including Updates Since Jennings v. Rodriguez


Speaker(s): Alison Pennington, Christina H. Lee, Lisa Knox, Monica Oca Howell, Valerie Anne Zukin
Recorded on: Jun. 28, 2018
PLI Program #: 247411

Monica Oca Howell is a Senior Immigration Attorney for CARECEN’s Immigration Legal Program.  She holds a BA in Spanish and Comparative Literature from the University of California, Davis, and a Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco.  The daughter of Filipino immigrants, Monica grew up in Daly City, California, and witnessed first-hand the difficulties that immigrants often face with discrimination and integrating into their surrounding community.  Since being admitted to the California State Bar in December of 2011, Monica has worked on various types of immigration cases, with an emphasis on family-based immigration, citizenship, and petitions for U nonimmigrant status.  She is a Co-Coordinator for AILA NorCal’s New Member’s Division and a member of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California.


Christina is a founding partner at Becker & Lee LLP. She received her law degree, JD, from King Hall, UC Davis School of Law in 2003, and her Bachelor of Arts in Economics, from Barnard College, Columbia University.

Christina has represented clients in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit. She has also represented many clients in Federal District Court filing mandamus lawsuits against the U.S. government. Including removal defense, Christina has experience in asylum, employment based immigration, family based immigration, naturalization applications, hardship and criminal waivers, consular processing, and representing victims of abuse, crimes and human trafficking.

Christina currently serves as the EOIR co-liaison to the San Francisco Immigration Court for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Northern California Council. Her past roles on the Council have included co-coordinator for the Young Lawyer’s Division and as the Advocacy co-coordinator where she organized local and national meetings in D.C. with Congressional representatives to advocate for immigration reform. She is currently a council member of the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic Alumni Council (ILCAC). Since 2013, Christina has been selected to the Northern California Super Lawyer’s Rising Stars list for immigration law.

Christina is a mentor attorney and regular panel speaker for the pro bono asylum program of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR), and a volunteer attorney with Centro Legal de la Raza and the Asian Law Caucus, immigration detention mentor for Pangea Legal Services, and serves “Of Counsel” to the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) for their pro bono asylum cases.

She also served on the Advisory Board to the Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (NCCIJ) which released its October 2014 Study: “Access to Justice for Immigrant Families and Communities: Study of Legal Representation of Detained Immigrants in Northern California,” authored by Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.

Christina is the daughter of Korean immigrants – she is fluent in conversational Korean.


Alison has worked for over a decade as an immigrant rights attorney, in several Bay Area nonprofit organizations as well as organizations on the east coast. She most recently has focused on federal and appellate litigation and has successfully litigated several class action lawsuits on behalf of detained individuals including Preap v. Johnson and Aleman Gonzalez v. Barr, which provided the right to a bond hearing for certain detained individuals. She has also litigated petitions for review before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and habeas petitions to remedy the unlawful detention of certain individuals. Prior to joining ILD in September 2019, Alison worked at the Centro Legal de la Raza, Asian Law Caucus, Transgender Law Center and the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center. She also worked as a Staff Attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for close to five years where she focused exclusively on the court’s immigration docket. Alison received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from Columbia University. She is a member of the California State Bar and is admitted to practice law before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and various district courts. She is also a member of AILA and the NLG’s National Immigration Project.


Lisa Knox is an Immigration Managing Attorney at Centro Legal, where she has worked as an immigration attorney since February 2016. She focuses on deportation defense, in particular for immigrants in detention. Lisa previously practiced immigration law at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale in San Francisco, where she worked on deportation defense, asylum and family-based immigration matters. She has also worked on impact litigation relating to immigrants’ rights at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and as a clinical instructor at the East Bay Community Law Center. Lisa received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a board member of the National Lawyers Guild, SF Bay Area Chapter.


Valerie Anne Zukin is a supervising attorney at the Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco and the Legal Director for the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (CCIJ), a regional collaborative for providing coordination, advocacy, and legal services to the immigrant community in California, with a focus on individuals who are in, and who face, detention. CCIJ is comprised of organizations and agencies dedicated to protecting the due process rights and ensuring access to counsel for all immigrants in California, and particularly to support communities in the San Francisco Immigration Court’s jurisdiction. In this role, Zukin facilitates sharing best practices and strategy around litigation and advocacy and provides technical assistance and training. She also serves as the lead coordinator for the AILA Mesa Verde Pro Bono Project for recent-arrival asylum seekers and administers the pro bono Attorney of the Day Program for the detained dockets at the San Francisco Immigration Court. Before joining JDC in 2017, she practiced at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale LLP from 2011 to 2017, and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project from 2007 to 2011, where she represented clients in complex immigration matters before the immigration agencies and federal courts. Valerie received her B.A. from Haverford College and her J.D. from Tulane University Law School.