The Bronx Defenders

  • Immigration Social Worker

    Posted Date 4 weeks ago(2/28/2019 10:04 AM)
    Job ID
    Social Work
  • Overview

    The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks a Masters level Social Worker with a commitment to social justice to work on behalf of clients of the Immigration Practice.


    BxD is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic and diverse staff. Our staff of over 300 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.


    Each year, we defend 27,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve, and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.


    The Immigration Practice at The Bronx Defenders represents clients in deportation proceedings in both detained and non-detained settings, provides affirmative immigration services, and pursues community-based systemic reform litigation and advocacy aimed at reforming unforgiving federal immigration laws. Since November 2013, our immigration attorneys have also served as assigned counsel at the Varick Street Immigration Court under the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, the first-ever universal representation project in immigration court.


    The Bronx Defenders is seeking a thoughtful and dedicated social worker to join our Immigration Practice. The social worker will work collaboratively as part of an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and other advocates and will assist in the development of a litigation strategy for the immigration case, as well as provide Immigration Practice clients with ongoing support and connection to services as they navigate the process of their legal cases.



    • Work collaboratively with clients, lawyers and other advocates on multi-disciplinary holistic defense teams to achieve clients’ stated legal goals
    • Interview and assess clients to identify strengths, resources and needs
    • Conduct supportive counseling, crisis intervention and case management services for Immigration Practice clients throughout the pendency of their legal cases
    • Compile written psycho-social assessments, service plans and/or collections of social science research for submission to the immigration courts or USCIS
    • Testify, on occasion, in Immigration Court hearings
    • Assist with review of behavioral health and other records and liaise with external mental health experts to conduct evaluations of Immigration Practice clients
    • Visit clients in detention in ICE facilities in New Jersey and New York State and attend court hearings in both the detained and non-detained immigration courts in lower Manhattan
    • Advocate for Immigration Practice clients across immigration, criminal and family court settings
    • Provide re-entry services to clients upon release from detention to their communities in the US and/or upon return to their countries of origin when possible
    • Maintain records of client work in Bronx Defender’s organizational case management system
    • Cultivate relationships with community programs and social service providers


    • M.S.W. from an accredited School of Social Work; candidates with LMSW or LCSW licensure are encouraged to apply
    • A demonstrated interest in working on behalf of immigrants, as well as individuals and/or communities that have experienced significant trauma
    • Commitment to social justice and defending immigrants from deportation 
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
    • Excellent organizational and time management skills
    • Strong oral and written advocacy skills
    • Ability to work well both independently and collaboratively with lawyers, non-lawyers and external service providers
    • Thorough knowledge of issues related to racially and socioeconomically marginalized communities and the experiences of these community members with the immigration, criminal and/or family court systems
    • Knowledge of substance use, domestic violence, parenting and mental health systems
    • Experience conducting psychosocial assessments and providing supportive counseling preferred
    • Spanish fluency or high proficiency is required as the job requires frequently working with monolingual clients in the Spanish language without access to interpretation




    Salary is commensurate with experience.  For candidates with 1-10 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $55,000 to $83,500. Full-time employees are also eligible for a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental and vision coverage; a 403(b) plan with employer contribution; a generous vacation, sick leave, and parental leave policy; and a professional development fund. More specific information about salary and benefits will be provided when and if an offer is extended.  


    To apply, please click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload both a cover letter and resume as a single document when prompted. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.


    The application deadline is March 28, 2019, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified. Please contact Caitlin Becker, Managing Director of Social Work, via email at with any questions regarding the position.




    The Bronx Defenders is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff.  We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, and communities to apply.


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