Senior Program Officer
New York City (United States of America)
Background: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933, the IRC is at work today in more than 40 countries and in 26 U.S. cities. The IRC’s Resettlement, Asylum and Integration (RAI) department creates opportunities for refugees and other vulnerable migrants to survive and thrive in the US. RAI serves nearly 50,000 individuals each year in the US through a diverse portfolio of programs aimed at achieving outcomes in five impact areas: Health, Safety, Economic Wellbeing, Education, and Power.
As a part of the RAI department, the Immigration Unit provides technical support and oversight to immigration legal services in 24 IRC offices in the United States, which collectively serve 15,000 immigration clients per year. The unit also supports advocacy on matters related to refugees and other immigrants, including those affected by violence and war.
Scope of Work: The Senior Program Officer (Immigration Legal Services, Afghan Support Program) will provide virtual and on-site support, guidance and mentoring to IRC field offices across the United States to ensure sites are well poised to provide essential immigration legal services to recent arrivals from Afghanistan, including parolees.
Location: Preferred locations for this position include, but are not necessarily exclusive to, Northern California (Oakland/Sacramento); Texas (Dallas); Atlanta, GA; Northern VA/DC metropolitan area (Richmond/Charlottesville/Silver Spring); Phoenix, AZ; New York, NY; New Jersey. The position, however, is considered roving meaning that the Program Officer will be spending significant time (e.g. weeks and/or months) at various IRC field offices across the United States to support implementation of legal services to assist Afghan parolees.
Capacity Building and Technical Assistance and Training
·Work with IRC immigration legal staff at various IRC field offices to develop and implement tailored legal response efforts in support of Afghan parolee clients, including services related (but not limited) to Special Immigrant Visas, employment authorization, adjustment of status, family-sponsored petitions, in addition to humanitarian parole and other humanitarian-based forms of legal relief such as asylum.
·Train and mentor immigration field staff, including DOJ-accredited representatives and attorneys, on legal pathways and eligibility for relief for Afghan parolee clients.
·Develop materials, such as staff-facing practice advisories and client-facing legal orientations and Know Your Rights presentations for use across IRC’s national network of immigration legal services.
·Respond to inquiries from IRC immigration legal staff regarding specific Afghan parolee cases, and provide technical legal assistance to immigration field staff on complex client cases.
·Provide remote and on-site monitoring of Afghan support program such as management of legal cases, client referrals, and tracking client data/outcomes where appropriate.
·Attend relevant trainings and stay current on immigration law and policy, especially as it relates to the Afghan parolee situation.
Direct Legal Assistance
·Conduct legal intakes and provide legal consultations with Afghan parolee clients and community members.
·Provide direct legal representation to Afghan clients, including assistance with employment authorization documents, adjustment of status, family reunification, and humanitarian parole.
·Make eligibility determinations for relief from removal, including asylum.
·Conduct legal orientation/Know Your Rights presentations for Afghan communities.
Cross Collaboration with IRC internal programs and external stakeholders
·Coordinate closely within IRC’s multidisciplinary wrap-around services teams, including the Safety & Wellness Unit, to identify need for legal services and facilitate referrals to services offered in-house and through partnerships with external providers.
·Work closely with IRC Caseworker(s) and/or other organizations providing high-quality, comprehensive case management to Afghan families and individuals, who are seeking asylum or another form of permanent status in the US.
·Build and collaborate with a network of pro bono attorneys on conducting asylum clinics and remote humanitarian parole applications.
·Juris Doctor degree (with bar membership in good standing in any U.S. state) or Department of Justice accreditation required;
·3-5 years’ experience of immigration legal services work, preferably with refugees and other vulnerable migrants;
·Familiarity with the US Refugee Admissions Program and US immigration law, including the US asylum system;
·1-2 years’ experience working on affirmative and/or defensive asylum cases preferred;
·Prior legal supervision experience ideal;
·Ability to work independently and as a team member in a diverse, fast-paced environment;
·Strong critical thinking, research, and analytical skills;
·Solid training, presentation and team building skills;
·Experience organizing and facilitating immigration workshops and immigration information sessions;
·Experience working with and/or building pro bono networks;
·Evidence of capacity to be a strong team member in a highly collaborative social service environment;
·Trauma-informed and sensitive listening and communication skills;
·Personal integrity in handling ethically complex and confidential situations;
·Strong computer literacy, research and analysis skills;
·Must have a valid driver’s license;
·Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
·Fluency in English, written and spoken;
·Preferred but not required: bilingual in one or more languages of the Afghan parolee population (e.g., Dari, Pashto);
·Deep commitment to working with humanitarian migrants;
·Ability to travel within the U.S. up to 60-75% (estimated)
IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.#LI_GR1