Trailblazing Immigration Lawyer Talia Inlender Joins UCLA Center for Immigration Law and Policy as Deputy Director

Talia Inlender joins CILP after launching and leading Public Counsel’s Detained Deportation Defense Program for over a decade.

December 1, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law is thrilled to welcome Talia Inlender, one of the nation’s leading immigration lawyers and an expert on the rights of people incarcerated by immigration authorities, as its inaugural Deputy Director.

“Talia is a national leader in immigration law, with a special combination of insight and experience. She has deep experience working directly with immigrants, but always sees the big picture and has consistently generated insightful, broad-ranging ideas that have made a difference in the lives of so many,” said CILP Faculty Co-Director Hiroshi Motomura. “We at the Center are truly blessed to welcome Talia as our first Deputy Director.”

Talia brings to the CILP team a deep familiarity with immigrants’ rights advocacy. She spent the last 13 years at Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm, where she launched and led efforts to defend incarcerated immigrants and most recently served as Supervising Senior Staff Attorney with the Immigrants’ Rights Project. During her career, Talia has worked to provide legal counsel to thousands of people incarcerated by immigration authorities, fought to bring home deported veterans, initiated litigation to ensure that individuals with serious mental disabilities are not lost in immigration detention without access to legal representation (Franco Gonzalez v. Holder), and ensure that children in immigration proceedings have access to counsel (F.L.B. (formerly J.E.F.M.) v. Sessions and C.J.L.G. v. Barr). 

“Talia is a visionary advocate who has spent her entire career working to protect the rights of immigrants through superb representation in immigration court, creative federal litigation, and groundbreaking policy advocacy,” said CILP Faculty Co-Director Ahilan Arulanantham. “We are thrilled that she is joining us at the Center.”

Talia has also played a pivotal role in advocacy to expand local and state funding for representation of immigrants in removal proceedings. In January of 2017, Talia was among the first to arrive at LAX to help those detained by the so-called “Muslim Ban,” earning the recognition of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti during his State of the City Address. Talia also brings with her prior experience with the UCLA School of Law, having served as a Clinical Supervisor at the UCLA Immigration Law Clinic from 2009 through 2017.

As CILP’s inaugural Deputy Director, Talia will play a leading role in building the Center’s strategic vision, designing and implementing its advanced research and advocacy agenda, teaching an immigration policy clinic, and more.

"I couldn't be more excited to join the Center at this pivotal time in the history of the immigrants’ rights movement," said CILP Deputy Director Talia Inlender. "I look forward to working with our team and partners to nurture big ideas and transform them into meaningful solutions at the local, state, and national levels."

Talia is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A. 2001) and Yale Law School (J.D. 2007). She is a former law clerk to the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Founded in 2020, the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law expands the law school's role as a national leader in immigration law and policy, generating innovative ideas at the intersection of immigration scholarship and practice and serving as a hub for transforming those ideas into meaningful changes in immigration policy. 

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