AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Presents Elizabeth Jordan with the 2021 Arthur C. Helton Memorial Human Rights Award

5/24/21 AILA Doc. No. 21052438.
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recognizes Elizabeth Jordan of Denver, CO, with the 2021 Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award for outstanding service in advancing the cause of human rights.

Elizabeth Jordan’s practice focuses on advancing human rights in the United States legal system through trauma-informed, cross-cultural representation of her clients. Ms. Jordan has significant experience at the intersection of immigration law, disability law, and the criminal legal system, and has dedicated her career to working on the front lines of these issues including through zealous representation of death-sentenced prisoners, immigrant children, and immigrants with disabilities locked up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Currently, she serves as the inaugural Director of the Immigration Detention Accountability Project (IDAP) at Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC), a project which she helped to establish. IDAP seeks to protect the rights of detained immigrants through systemic change litigation, individual representation, technical assistance to immigration attorneys and advocates, and legal education at the intersection of immigration and disability justice.

IDAP’s work includes Fraihat v. ICE, a nationwide class action lawsuit filed by CREEC, Disability Rights Advocates, Southern Poverty Law Center, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Fraihat challenges the federal government’s failure to adequately monitor its detention system, as well as improper medical and mental health care, disability accommodations, and the unconstitutional use of segregation in ICE detention. A preliminary injunction won in that case has contributed to the release of over 3,000 detained immigrants with elevated risk factors for COVID-19.

Before joining CREEC, Ms. Jordan was a staff attorney at The Door’s Legal Services Center in New York City and a Fellow with the Capital Appeals Project in Louisiana. Prior to law school, she spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Spain studying human rights issues. Ms. Jordan received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and graduated summa cum laude from New York University’s School of Law.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.