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Habeas Petitions for Detained Immigrants 2019


Speaker(s): Alexandra Lampert, Alison Pennington, Amy Maldonado, Jehan Laner Romero, Judah Lakin, Michael Kaufman, Zoey Jones
Recorded on: Nov. 18, 2019
PLI Program #: 285334

Alexandra Lampert is a Senior Staff Attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services, where she represents detained non-citizens facing deportation through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project. Alex represents clients before immigration courts in New York and New Jersey and on appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals, as well as petitions for review and collateral actions such as habeas corpus petitions in federal courts. Prior to joining BDS, Alex was an associate at Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, LLP, a civil rights firm in New York specializing in police misconduct and prison litigation. There, Alex litigated numerous cases including jury trials in federal and state courts, helping clients who were the victims of constitutional violations and egregious misconduct obtain significant compensation.

Alex is a graduate of Stanford Law School. Following law school, she served as a clerk for the honorable Diane P. Wood on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She speaks Spanish and is admitted to practice in New York and California (inactive) as well as the EDNY, SDNY, WDNY, 2nd Circuit, D.C. Circuit, 7th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.


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.


Amy Maldonado is a 1998 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she volunteered extensively at Catholic Social Services preparing asylum applications, and the University of Houston (B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Mexican American Studies). She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and the Hispanic National Bar Association. She is admitted to the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth and Seventh Circuits, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She is a member of the State Bar of Illinois, and is authorized to represent clients on federal immigration matters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Ms. Maldonado currently works as a solo practitioner in East Lansing, Michigan, with a practice encompassing business and family immigration, naturalization, and J-1 waivers. Since 2005, Ms. Maldonado's practice has concentrated on sports immigration, representing sports agencies, individual athletes and coaches (equestrian, tennis, triathlon, professional hockey and professional baseball, including Major League Baseball players from Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea). Ms. Maldonado was selected by her colleagues at the Sports Immigration Law Conference 2019 as the inaugural Sports Immigration Lawyer of the Year.

In her minimal free time, Ms. Maldonado does pro-bono work, litigating on behalf of families and children detained at the border and trapped in the destructive MPP program. She is also a member of the immigration policy think team for U.S. Representative Slotkin from Michigan’s 8th district.


Growing up in a family and community of immigrants, Jehan is deeply committed to defending the human rights of all people, especially the fundamental right to move.

Jehan joined Pangea in April 2017. Prior to Pangea, Jehan represented detained and non-detained immigrants in removal proceedings as an Immigration Legal Fellow with Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto. Jehan also fought for policies to disentangle local law enforcement from immigration enforcement, as a Ford Fellow with Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus’s Criminal Justice Reform program.

During law school, Jehan was a student advocate for two years in the Immigrant Rights Clinic where she defended immigrants facing deportation. In the clinic, she represented asylum seekers in immigration court in New York and Texas and co-authored amicus briefs before the Eight Circuit and Board of Immigration Appeals. Jehan served as co-chair of the Latino Law Student Association and received the Vanderbilt Medal for outstanding contributions to her law school.

Jehan graduated with a full-tuition academic scholarship magna cum laude, receiving a B.A. in Political Science and Mass Communications with a minor in Civic Engagement from the University of California, Los Angeles. A Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar, she received her law degree from the New York University School of Law (’15).

Jehan is licensed to practice law in California. She speaks English and Spanish.


Judah Lakin is a founding partner at Lakin & Wille LLP, an immigration law firm founded in October 2019 that represents individuals and families in all of their immigration concerns—before federal agencies, the immigration courts, and the federal courts. Prior to starting Lakin & Wille LLP, Judah was an associate at Van Der Hout LLP where he represented individuals in all phases of their immigration proceedings, with a particular focus on detention issues, appeals, and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. He is currently co-class counsel in Aleman-Gonzalez v. Sessions, the class-action case that mandates prolonged detention bond hearings for individuals detained pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(6) in the Ninth Circuit. Prior to private practice, Judah clerked for the Honorable Richard A. Paez on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and prior to that, worked at Dolores Street Community Services’ Deportation Defense and Legal Advocacy Program. Judah is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Rhode Island College (M.Ed.) and Brown University.

In addition to his work as an immigration attorney, in 2018, Judah co-founded and now co-directs the Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund—a non-profit project that raises funds for incarcerated individuals who cannot afford their immigration bonds. To date, the Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund has helped secure the release of over 55 individuals from immigration incarceration. 

Before attending law school, Judah was a secondary educator, where he primarily worked with students learning English. He spent eight years teaching high school students and coaching basketball and soccer. He is a published author having co-authored a book and articles on strategies for teaching English learners.


Michael Kaufman is Sullivan and Cromwell Access to Justice senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California.

Michael specializes in immigrants' rights and economic justice issues. His active cases include: Rodriguez v. Jennings, a long-standing class action suit that challenges the government’s authority to detain immigrants for prolonged periods without a bond hearing; Hernandez v. Sessions, a challenge to immigration bond procedures that fail to include consideration of ability to pay and non-monetary conditions of release; Santiago v. Los Angeles, a lawsuit on behalf of street vendors whose property was confiscated by the police; and Alvarado v. Los Angeles Superior Court, a lawsuit challenging automatic driver’s license suspensions for unpaid traffic court fines and fees.

Michael joined the ACLU of Southern California in 2010 as a Stanford Public Interest Law fellow. From 2008 to 2010, Michael was a Skadden fellow at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, where he directed a project to empower and advance the rights of domestic workers in the Bay Area.

Michael graduated from Stanford University and earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School. Following graduation, he clerked for Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Zoey Jones is a supervising attorney for the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project at Brooklyn Defender Services.

Zoey specializes in federal litigation on behalf of ICE detainees, including challenges to prolonged detention, unlawful bond hearing procedures, and detention of immigrant youth in violation of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

Zoey joined Brooklyn Defender Services as a staff attorney in 2014. As a staff attorney, Zoey represented individuals in detained removal proceedings, BIA appeals, and petitions for review. Prior to joining Brooklyn Defender Services, Zoey worked as a public defender for the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County.

Zoey graduated from the University of San Francisco and earned her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she served as an editor for the Cardozo Law Review.