Immigration Programs Director

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Job posting: Immigration Programs Director

Immigration Programs Director

Grassroots Leadership seeks an immigration programs director to lead our local, state, and national organizing and advocacy efforts to end harsh immigration enforcement policies, including immigration detention and deportation. The programs director will direct Grassroots Leadership’s immigration work, manage immigration organizers, researchers, project coordinators, and interns, and work closely with leadership of the organization, including the organization’s executive director and criminal justice programs director. Program activities include organizing projects with immigrant community members and allies to stop detention and deportation policies and practices, research on the impact of the private prison industry on immigration detention and deportation, and programs that provide support to immigrant community members facing actual or imminent threat of detention, deportation, or incarceration due to immigration status.  

About the organization and immigration enforcement work:

Founded in 1980, Grassroots Leadership is a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization based in Austin, Texas working for a more just society where prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation and criminalization are things of the past. We work to transform the justice and immigration systems through organizing, research, advocacy and public education, building bridges between communities to increase the capacity of local leaders and coalitions, and mobilizing those most impacted by incarceration and deportation.

Grassroots Leadership’s immigration programs include organizing projects and advocacy efforts local to central Texas including serving as home to the ICE Out of Austin campaign, an organizing campaign led by immigrant community members seeking to end ICE-local law enforcement collaboration; the Hutto Visitation Program, a visitation program to the T. Don Hutto women’s detention center; La Linea Defensa Comunitaria, a deportation defense hotline; Sanctuary in the Streets trainings, organizing allies to resist deportations; and membership in the Austin Sanctuary Network, a network of churches and nonprofits providing sanctuary and accompaniment to those facing deportation.  Furthermore, our statewide and national advocacy campaigns and research include efforts to end family detention, the criminal prosecutions of migrants, and policies that link local law enforcement to immigration enforcement.  

About the position:

Grassroots Leadership seeks an immigration programs director with experience with organizing, advocacy, and research related to the immigration enforcement system.  A candidate must have experience directing and developing program areas, supervising staff, demonstrated success in running and winning campaigns, and a good track record with building partnerships and coalitions.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of the immigration enforcement, detention, and deportation systems and commitment to ending disproportionate impact of detention, deportation, and mass incarceration on communities of color

  • Demonstrated ability to envision, develop, and direct program areas

  • Strong ability to manage partner relationships and conflict

  • Successful experience managing staff and interns

  • Background working with immigrant communities

  • Excellent written and oral communication (for communications, research, and/or policy)

  • Comfort with advanced technology including Google applications (docs, spreadsheets, forms), database management, web development platforms, as well as social media skills

  • Fluent in written and oral English and Spanish

  • Experience in community organizing, base-building efforts, and demonstrated commitment to leadership development amongst impacted communities

  • Team player; ability to work effectively with diverse grassroots constituencies, coalition partners, and policy-makers

  • Experience coordinating/leading groups or coalitions

  • Ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations in politically challenging environment

  • Ability to work in close proximity to others

  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously

  • Extremely well-organized

  • Sense of humility and humor

Strong applicants may also have qualifications including:

  • Direct experience with the immigration enforcement system

  • Experience fundraising and grant-writing

  • Demonstrated communications experience

This full-time salaried position will be located in our Austin, TX office. Some travel within Texas and outside of the state will be required. Depending on qualifications, the salary ranges between $45,000-$50,000 per year with excellent benefits.

It is the policy of Grassroots Leadership not to discriminate in the employment of staff, or in the selection of volunteers, on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, financial status or HIV status. Grassroots Leadership works affirmatively to build a staff and board that includes people of many different races, classes, genders, physical and mental abilities, ages and sexual orientations, including people who have been previously incarcerated and family members of those who are and have been in prison or immigrant detention.

Grassroots Leadership is committed to investing in the leadership of people of color and formerly incarcerated people. People of color, immigrant community members, formerly incarcerated people, people who have family in prisons or detention centers, women, queer, and trans people are encouraged to apply. We do not discourage or discriminate against people with convictions, and you will not be asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime on the application or interview.

Please send letter of introduction, resume/vitae and three employment-related references to with “Immigration Programs Director” in the subject line. Please tell us why this position is of interest to you and include a resume. Questions about the position should be directed to the same email address.