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Washington Presence Will Amplify On-the-Ground Realities in the Immigration Reform Debate

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Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is pleased to announce the opening of its Washington, D.C., office, under the leadership of Royce Bernstein Murray, who joins NIJC as its policy director. This will strengthen NIJC’s presence in Washington, D.C., where the organization has worked for more than a decade.

In collaboration with NIJC’s Chicago-based staff, Murray will integrate NIJC’s direct legal services expertise into concrete recommendations for immigration policy reform, and will serve as co-chair of the Department of Homeland Security-Nongovernmental Organization Enforcement and Detention Working Group.

“Royce’s experience in the immigration and human rights field and her experience working in the government makes her uniquely qualified to lead our policy and advocacy initiatives,” said NIJC Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy. “Her knowledge of the immigration system will be critical as we work to end abuses in immigration detention and build an immigration system that respects basic due process and human rights.”

Murray is an adjunct professor of immigration law at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Prior to joining NIJC, Murray spent several years as an immigration and human rights consultant working with nongovernmental organizations to advance fair and humane treatment of immigrants, refugees, and individuals in some of the world’s most underserved regions. She also worked in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office of the Chief Counsel, where she focused on a range of protection issues and humanitarian immigration benefits.

A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Murray holds a bachelor’s degree with distinction in political science from the University of Michigan.

Heartland Alliance's National Immigrant Justice Center is a Chicago-based nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation and public education. For more information visit