The ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) is seeking three skilled, full- time multicultural & bilingual Legal Investigators based out of Imperial County, CA, San Diego, CA, and Tijuana, Mexico.
The ACLUF-SDIC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 civil liberties and civil rights organization working to advance equality, freedom and justice. The ACLUF-SDIC affiliate covers the length of California’s border with Mexico. We have 38 staff members, 23 board members, and an annual budget of $4.8 million. The ACLUF-SDIC is also part of the ACLU Foundations of California, a collaboration of the state’s three ACLU affiliates. The ACLU’s California offices are located in San Diego, El Centro, Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire, Bakersfield, Fresno, San Francisco and Sacramento. Together, the three affiliates have more than 300,000 members and 200 staff people. In addition, we work collaboratively with our sister affiliates along the U.S-Mexico border and value partnerships and collaboration with community organizations and groups across the state and in the border region.
The ACLUF-SDIC uses an integrated approach to confront unjust policies that threaten individuals’ civil rights and freedoms and to defend the progress we have made as a nation, state and region. We have a proven track record of successfully using litigation, policy and legislative advocacy, research and analysis, public education, strategic communications, and community organizing to achieve meaningful social change. Our work is accomplished in conjunction with our 501(c)4 organization, the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties. Both organizations have the same overall mission. Two separate corporate entities allow us to conduct a broad range of work to protect and advance civil liberties.
The ACLUF-SDIC seeks inquisitive, resolute, and self-motivated individuals committed to defending civil liberties and advancing civil rights to serve as Legal Investigators. This role will assist with legal fact development, story gathering, and data analysis. The Legal Investigators will work as a part of the Legal Department to fill essential gaps in our capacity to develop and understand the on-the-ground facts and data necessary to meet current civil liberties challenges. The persons in this position will perform in-depth investigation aimed at understanding and addressing important and emerging civil liberties issues, with a primary focus on immigration and U.S.-Mexico border abuses.
- Investigate civil rights violations arising in the U.S.-Mexico border region. These violations could arise, for example, from interaction with immigration agencies due to “Zero Tolerance” & Operation Streamline prosecutions, such as horrific conditions in Border Patrol detention, excessive delays in transport to court, and structural denial of any meaningful right to counsel.
- Pursue fact investigation & witness development in legal cases.
- Conduct and summarize interviews and maintain accurate records of interviews.
- Handle other research and investigation projects as assigned by legal staff and approved by the Lead Legal Investigator & Researcher.
- A strong commitment to civil liberties and civil rights principles and the work of the ACLU;
- Experience with field research, qualitative interviews, constituent service, or similar interactions.
- Strong writing skills.
- Knowledge of the basic structure of the U.S. immigration system, including various forms of removal and the basic contours of refugee/asylum law,
- Understanding of U.S. immigration agencies (DHS / CBP / ICE / etc.).
- Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse group of people. Ability to work independently and as a part of a team, meet deadlines, take initiative, maintain confidentiality.
- Strong organizational skills are essential, particularly acute attention to detail and the ability to juggle multiple priorities effectively.
- Fluency in Spanish is required.
- Willingness to work variable work schedule if necessary to meet deadlines.
- Understanding of civil rights and civil liberties issues, particularly in the area of immigrants’ rights, and enthusiasm for addressing these issues through legal and other advocacy.
- Strong computer skills in Windows XP environment, Outlook, Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat software.
Reporting & Supervision
Legal Investigators will report to the Lead Legal Investigator & Researcher.
Salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include generous health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans as well as matching 401(k) plan and ample vacation and sick leave and liberal holiday schedule.
Applicants should submit a resume and a cover letter describing, in particular, their interest in working for the ACLU and their qualifications for the position. Include at a minimum three personal references. Please put “Bilingual Legal Investigator – your name” in the subject line of your email. If possible, please include the cover letter and resume together in one PDF file.
Electronic applications are preferred. Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
However, hard-copy applications can be mailed to:
ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties PO Box 87131 San Diego, CA 92138-7131
The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, veterans, and people with arrest records and/or convictions.