Talia Inlender

Deputy Director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy

  • B.A. Wesleyan University, 2001
  • J.D. Yale Law School, 2007

Talia Inlender is Deputy Director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law. Prior to joining CILP, Talia spent 13 years at Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm, where she launched and led the agency’s detained deportation defense program and most recently served as Supervising Senior Staff Attorney with the Immigrant’s Rights Project. During her career, Talia has worked with thousands of people incarcerated by immigration authorities as well as deported military veterans seeking lawful return to the United States. Talia has also trained and supervised scores of attorneys, legal fellows, and law students representing non-citizens in their immigration proceedings—including serving as a Clinical Supervisor at the UCLA Immigration Clinic from 2009-2017. Talia has herself litigated cases on behalf of immigrants before Immigration Judges; the Board of Immigration Appeals; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Talia’s direct service work has led to transformative impact litigation on behalf of immigrants. She was co-counsel on Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder, the first lawsuit to establish a right to government-appointed counsel for a class of immigrants with serious mental disabilities, F.L.B. (formerly J.E.F.M.) v. Lynch and C.J.L.G. v. Barr, lawsuits to vindicate children’s right to counsel in immigration proceedings, and International Refugee Assistance Project v. Kelly, a lawsuit challenging the detention of an Afghan family entering on Special Immigrant Visas during the so-called “Muslim Ban.” Talia has also played a pivotal role in advocacy to expand local and state funding for legal representation in removal proceedings.

In January of 2017, Talia was among the first to arrive at LAX to help those detained by the “Muslim Ban,” earning the recognition of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti during his State of the City Address. She was also recognized as part of the Franco-Gonzalez team with the 2014 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award from the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association for excellence in litigation. Her community contributions have been recognized with the 2016 Community Partner Award from the Western State College of Law Immigration Clinic and the 2017 Karen Paull Colleague of the Year Award at Public Counsel. In 2008, Talia was awarded an Equal Justice Works fellowship.

Talia is a former judicial clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Talia is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A. 2001) and Yale Law School (J.D. 2007).


  • Articles And Chapters
    • Mental Health and Immigrant Detainees in the United States: Competency and Self-Representation (with Korngold, Ochoa, McNiel, and Binder), 43 Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 277 (2015).
    • Status Quo or Sixth Ground?: Adjudicating Gender Asylum Claims, in Migrations and Mobilities: Gender, Citizenship and Borders, (edited by Seyla Benhabib & Judith Resnik, NYU Press, 2009).
  • Other Publications
    • How Airports Became the Battleground for Deciding Who Belongs in America, ZOCALO (August 8, 2017).
    • Immigration detainees: Lost in America, L.A. Times (July 12, 2011).
    • Note, The Imperfect Legacy of Gomez v. I.N.S.: Using Social Perceptions to Adjudicate Social Group Claims, 20 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 681 (Summer 2009).