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Emergency Legal Challenges to Imminent Removals: Emergency Petitions for Review of Administrative and Reinstatement Orders, Emergency Motions to Reopen, and Whether Habeas Might Be a Viable Option


Speaker(s): Ilyce Shugall, Julia Harumi Mass, Katherine M. Lewis, Valerie Anne Zukin, Zachary M. Nightingale
Recorded on: Jul. 10, 2017
PLI Program #: 219052

Julia Harumi Mass is a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. Since joining the ACLU in 2003, Julia has worked on a variety of issues including students’ rights, immigrants’ rightsfreedom of speech, and national security.

Since 2006, Julia has led the ACLU of Northern California’s immigrants’ rights work, which in recent years has focused on campaigns to limit local police and sheriff participation in immigration enforcement and litigation to increase access to justice for detained immigrants.

Her current cases include a suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for refusing to release documents that would shed light on the agency’s treatment of asylum seekers. She also led the ACLU of Northern California in obtaining a groundbreaking settlement to allow immigrants in detention to access phones to contact lawyers, families, and government agencies. For someone in detention, basic phone access is necessary to getting their fair day in court, and therefore their only hope for returning to jobs and families. Julia also brought a successful class action lawsuit challenging the practice of holding immigrants indefinitely without due process in mandatory detention. Thousands of California’s immigrants may now make an individualized case against their detention.

In another class action lawsuit, Julia and co-counsel asserted that simply being in detention is not a legitimate basis to subject individuals to shackles in immigration court. After over two years of litigation, U.S. immigration authorities agreed to major changes to their shackling policy in San Francisco Immigration Court.

This historic settlement directly affected thousands of immigration detainees and has national implications as a model for litigation and policy across the United States.

In 2015 and 2016, California Lawyer/Daily Journal honored Julia as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year in the area of immigration. Prior to her work at the ACLU, Julia represented public and private sector labor unions and employees as an associate with Rothner, Segall & Greenstone in Pasadena, California. She also clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She has a B.A. in Philosophy from Reed College and received her law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law.


Katherine (Katy) Lewis, an attorney at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP since 2011, has been practicing immigration law for ten years. She has represented individuals a wide array of complex immigration matters before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit, as well as in Federal District Court. She has experience in complicated motions to reopen, removal defense, asylum, family based immigration, naturalization, waivers, consular processing, and representing victims of abuse and crimes. She has extensive experience representing non-citizens with criminal records facing removal proceedings or in applying for immigration benefits. She has served as the AILA NorCal Office of Chief Counsel liaison from 2011 to present. Katy is a mentor attorney for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights’ pro bono asylum program. From 2006-2007, Katy served as a Judicial Law Clerk/Attorney Advisor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, at the Los Angeles Immigration Court, as part of the Attorney General's Honors Program. While in law school, Katy researched for a book written by Professor Hiroshi Motomura about the history of immigration law, Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States. She received her JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2006 and graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.A. in Political Science and Economics in 2001.


Zachary M. Nightingale practices immigration law in San Francisco, California. A partner at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP, his immigration practice for the last 20 years has focused on deportation defense and litigation in immigration and federal courts. He received his J.D. and M.S. (mathematics) from Stanford and A.B. from U.C. Berkeley, and is certified by the State Bar of California as an expert in immigration law. Mr. Nightingale was honored with AILA’s 2003 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for excellence in litigation, and was the 2014 NIP/NLG member honoree for outstanding contributions to the cause of immigrant justice.


Ilyce Shugall is the Director of the Immigrant Legal Defense Program at the Justice and Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco. Prior to joining JDC, Ilyce served for 18 months as an immigration judge in the San Francisco Immigration Court. Prior to serving as an immigration judge, Ilyce was the 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 among 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 an attorney at Van Der Hout, LLP. Three of those years she spent as a partner. 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. Ilyce holds a JD from DePaul University College of Law, and a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


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.