NILC to Honor 2016 Courageous Luminaries Awards Recipients at Annual Dinner

October 7, 2016

Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149

NILC to Honor 2016 Courageous Luminaries Awards Recipients at Annual Dinner

LOS ANGELES — The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is proud to announce this year’s recipients of its Courageous Luminaries Awards: longtime community advocate Reshma Shamasunder, the global law firm Morrison and Foerster LLP, and advocacy group In recognition of their roles in and ongoing commitment to advancing the interests of immigrant communities, NILC will honor them at its annual awards dinner to be held October 13, 2016, at The Center at Cathedral Plaza in Los Angeles.

“The visionary leadership of this year’s Luminaries has had far-reaching impact, improving the lives of millions in immigrant communities across the U.S., and helping to inform and shape our national conversations,” said Sara Gould, chair of the NILC Board of Directors.

“Sustained commitment, innovation, and generosity: This year’s Courageous Luminaries showcase some of the best attributes that have helped strengthen the immigrants’ rights field and its ability to achieve concrete results,” said Marielena Hincapié, NILC’s executive director. “It’s an honor to have worked closely with each of our honorees and to pay tribute to their tremendous contributions.”

Reshma Shamasunder has played an instrumental role in improving the lives and health of immigrants in California. As the former director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, and in her current role as a policy consultant, Shamasunder’s work over the past 12 years to increase immigrants’ access to critical services, education, professional licenses, driver’s licenses, and, most recently, health coverage for children regardless of their immigration status has helped transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians and their families.

Founded in 2013, has demonstrated unwavering leadership in the national campaign to defend and advance the Obama administration’s immigration relief initiatives. It played a pivotal role in convening dozens of business leaders to sign on to an amicus brief that was filed with the Supreme Court in United States, et al. v. State of Texas, et al. in support of the deferred action programs known as DAPA and the expansion of DACA. But perhaps more importantly, has devoted unprecedented resources and energy to lift up the voices of people who will be directly affected by the High Court’s decision, in order to compellingly illustrate the needless devastation that our country’s current immigration policies are having on families, communities, and the nation’s economy.

Morrison and Foerster LLP, a law firm with 16 offices around the world, has demonstrated a deep commitment to pro bono work in support of immigrants’ rights. The firm has played a critical role in Jane Doe #1, et al. v. Jeh Johnson, et al., a class action lawsuit challenging horrific and unconstitutional detention conditions in Border Patrol holding facilities in that agency’s Tucson Sector. Morrison and Foerster assembled a large pro bono team to provide critical support and recommended bold and creative litigation strategies in the case. The discovery strategy the firm recommended was instrumental in gathering critical evidence showing the extent of the human rights and due process violations in the holding cells. The resources and attorney time Morrison and Foerster has devoted to analyzing this evidence may help propel detention-condition reform that reaches beyond the holding facilities in Arizona that prompted the lawsuit.

More information about NILC’s 2016 Courageous Luminaries Awards dinner is available at

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