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Undocumented Bay Area immigrants are receiving an early holiday gift this season: potential representation from nearly 60 attorneys from 15 firms in challenging the constitutionality of Immigration and Customs Enforcement practices. “We felt that there was a lack of resources available for undocumented ICE raid victims,” said Candice Greenberg, executive director of East Palo Alto-based Community Legal Services, which is spearheading the effort with San Francisco’s Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Both organizations provide legal assistance to disadvantaged populations. The problem, Greenberg said, is that ICE officers have been known to violate the constitutional rights of immigrants. Specifically, ICE used intimidation, threats and unlawful searches, she asserted. No attorneys have been involved in cases yet, and the intent of the project is merely to have lawyers be on-call should the need arise, Greenberg added. “This is not about ICE’s ability to enforce the law,” she said. “It’s about forcing ICE to adhere to the U.S. Constitution and to their own procedures.” The need for representation among undocumented immigrants is especially strong now, said Renee Glover Chantler, DLA Piper’s West Coast pro bono manager and a member of the CLS board. “With all of the political upheaval that took place starting two years ago over the question of undocumented persons and enforcement, there became a very real concern � that people would be unfairly targeted for enforcement based on impermissible criteria,” she said. The project is attractive regardless of one’s views on immigration, said Michael Standlee, a Silicon Valley-based partner in DLA Piper’s finance group who was one of the attorneys to receive training. “It’s not necessarily giving safe harbor to immigrants or people who are here illegally,” he said. “It’s just making sure that there’s a check and balance for the immigration authorities who are conducting these raids.” Standlee is one of nine DLA Piper attorneys who attended a 90-minute lecture and received a 125-page packet detailing how to file and argue a motion to suppress. Attorneys who choose to continue representing their clients would receive additional mentorship from the ILRC, Greenberg said. “The course was excellent,” Standlee said. “I’ve been practicing for a number of years and haven’t had a chance to really dig into constitutional law since law school, and this was really intellectually stimulating work.” Standlee said he chose to participate in this project because it provided a unique pro bono opportunity � while it’s an unfamiliar area of law, the program was designed to get him up to speed. “It’s very difficult for some of us who are more corporate- and transactional-focused,” he said. “This is one where the litigation skills are not necessarily that complex.” CLS isn’t done training lawyers, Greenberg said. The organizations will run another training session in January. “We were frankly hoping for 75 to 100 attorneys,” she said. But, “we are extremely happy with the turnout that we’ve seen to date.” The firms involved include: Bingham McCutchen; Dechert; DLA Piper; Fenwick & West; Howrey; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Townsend and Townsend and Crew; Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; and Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner. CLS did not provide the names of two more participating firms, and three other firms asked CLS not to identify them.

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