Carmen Iguina Gonzalez is a Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project based in Washington, D.C. Her experience includes litigation of complex civil matters as well as landmark immigrants’ rights and criminal justice cases, advocacy, and direct representation before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals, and Courts of Appeal.
Carmen served as a law clerk for Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, she was a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California. Carmen was counsel in the first case that established a right to appointed legal representation for any group of immigrants facing deportation, Franco v. Holder, which required the federal government to provide legal representation to immigrants with mental disabilities. She was also counsel in J.E.F.M. v. Holder, a nationwide class action lawsuit seeking to require the government to provide children with legal representation in their deportation hearings, and in Alfaro Garcia v. Holder, a nationwide class action lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of immigrants fleeing persecution who had faced months of detention while awaiting reasonable fear determinations. In 2017, she helped establish the L.A. Justice Fund and expand One California to provide funding for representation of immigrants in deportation proceedings in Los Angeles City and County and throughout the State of California, serving on the steering committee for the California Coalition for Universal Representation. Carmen was also counsel in Youth Justice Coalition v. City of Los Angeles, a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of Angelenos whom the Los Angeles police and prosecutors have unfairly subjected to restrictive “gang injunctions” without due process.
Carmen was part of the Franco team that received the 2014 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association and was named a 2016 California Lawyer of the Year. She previously held clerkships with Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto on the United States Court District Court for the Eastern District of New York and Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She was most recently an Associate in the Issues and Appeals practice group of Jones Day.
Carmen graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar, and was an Equal Justice Works Fellow. She is a member of the California and D.C. bars and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal for the Third, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, and U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of California, Central District of California, and Western District of Washington.