Marielena Hincapié to Leave National Immigration Law Center in June 2022

September 14, 2021 

Will Dempster, [email protected], (908) 413-0153

Marielena Hincapié to Leave National Immigration Law Center in June 2022

WASHINGTON — The boards of directors of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and NILC Immigrant Justice Fund (IJF) have announced that Executive Director Marielena Hincapié will leave both organizations in June 2022.

Hincapié has been at NILC for more than 20 years, including 13 as executive director. Under Hincapié’s leadership, NILC defended and advanced the rights of low-income immigrants at all levels of government, ranging from successfully challenging draconian state anti-immigrant laws from Arizona to Alabama, to launching the Winning in the States initiative that resulted in increased access to health care, workers’ rights, driver’s licenses, and greater immigrant justice.

She has been a key architect of numerous movement campaigns, such as Protecting Immigrant Families, No Muslim Ban Ever, and the Immigrant Movement Visioning Process in the midst of the Trump era. Most recently, Hincapié led the organization in successfully challenging the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies and protecting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries before the U.S. Supreme Court, while co-leading the #ImmigrantsAreEssential narrative and culture change initiative to achieve recognition of the humanity and dignity of all immigrants.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have led NILC and the IJF during turbulent times in our nation, where the stakes are so high for immigrants and our democracy,” said Hincapié. “NILC is a leaderful organization and well-prepared to continue to lead the movement for safety, rights, and justice for low-income immigrants now and in the future. It has been a tremendous honor to have served low-income immigrant communities and to have partnered with so many movement leaders these past two decades. It is time for me to find other ways to advance my commitment to a society in which we all have the freedom to thrive.”

“Marielena Hincapié strategically expanded NILC’s influence with policymakers across the country and cemented her place as a visionary leader within the pro-immigrant movement, while helping to elevate NILC’s presence nationally,” said Sara K. Gould, chair of the NILC board of directors.

Angela M. Banks, NILC board chair-elect, expressed, “While we are sad that Marielena is leaving NILC, we are confident in the team and systems she has put in place to advance the mission of the organization. This is our moment to push forward a pathway to citizenship and we remain laser focused on building a more racially and economically just society.”

“NILC IJF remains committed to leading transformative, systemic change that builds political power with immigrant communities,” said Allen Erenbaum, chair of the NILC IJF board of directors. “Marielena has fostered leadership throughout the organization that will ensure our work of establishing immigration as a winning political issue continues, and we are focused on continuing to build and flex political power on behalf of immigrants in 2022 and beyond.”

NILC and IJF’s leaders say making progress on critical racial, economic, and gender justice issues affecting low-income immigrants will remain the priority of the organization throughout the search and transition process. NILC and IJF’s boards are working with the Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group to search for the next executive director. Board leaders are committed to engaging staff, partners, and other stakeholders in the search and transition.