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Policy Analyst, State & Local

Req ID: 7646
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
Shift: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


National Immigrant Justice Center

Policy Analyst, State & Local


Program Description:

The National Immigrant Justice Center ( NIJC), a program of Heartland Alliance, provides direct legal services to, and advocates for, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. Since its founding more than three decades ago, NIJC has been unique in blending individual client advocacy with broad-based systemic change. Headquartered in Chicago with offices in Washington, DC, Indiana and San Diego, NIJC’s team of 100+ attorneys, paralegals and professionals, along with 2,000 pro bono attorneys, is at the forefront of immigration reform.



The State & Local Policy Analyst is the public face of NIJC’s state and local policy work to advance the human rights of immigrants. The Policy Analyst represents NIJC in coalitions and community engagements at the state and local level and engages in coalition building with community partners/grassroots organizations and education with state and local officials to advance pro-immigrant policies. The Policy Analyst will work across NIJC’s policy, communications, litigation and direct service teams to be responsive to community needs and advocacy priorities.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Work with NIJC’s policy, litigation, direct service, and communications teams to identify advocacy priorities and strategies to protect the rights of immigrants, particularly at the state and local levels.
  • Analyze laws and policies and collaborate with grassroots groups, advocacy groups, and legal aid organizations in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, and other Midwest states to identify common priorities and strategies to protect those who are targets of immigration enforcement, detention and deportation.
  • Participate in formal and informal coalitions of legal aid and advocacy organizations to advocate for policy reform; draft and edit statements, reports, sign-on letters, and other jointly-produced products.
  • Gather data and engage in policy and legal research as necessary to support advocacy and educational materials on emerging policy issues. Draft fact sheets, reports, etc. regarding state and local legislation/policies as it relates to immigrants.
  • Represent NIJC in regular Chicago Legal Protection Fund meetings and work with NIJC’s legal teams to advance legal protections.
  • Assist in identifying and working with NIJC clients and former clients who are interested in working with NIJC's communications and policy teams to advance proposed reforms.
  • Collaborate with community-based partners and NIJC litigation and legal services teams to advocate for state and local legislation/policies and monitor implementation of immigration policies, legal settlements, and recent state-wide legislation. Develop and implement advocacy strategies around accountability measures for non-compliance.
  • Collaborate with the policy, legal services and communications team to jointly lead NIJC’s support for local campaigns to close immigration detention facilities, secure the release of individuals in ICE custody, and advance fully funded universal representation programming for immigrants facing immigration court proceedings in Illinois.
  • Serve as point of contact for members of the Illinois General Assembly, Cook County board members, City of Chicago Alderpersons, and other local and state officials.
  • Provide community presentations on state and local legislation.
  • Represent NIJC and its priorities at external meetings and identify ways to effectively communicate NIJC’s policy recommendations to community partners and policy makers.
  • Participate in grant proposal development, editing, review and submission.
  • Closely monitor legal, policy, and political developments with regard to immigration detention and enforcement and create and implement rapid response advocacy strategies when necessary.
  • Other tasks as assigned.


Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions. 

  • Education and/or Experience:  Minimum of two years of related professional experience; law degree or other graduate degree preferred.
  • Language Skills:  Ability to read, analyze, and interpret regulations, legislation, including immigration laws and regulations, legal memos, case law and related materials. Spanish language abilities preferred.
  • Understanding of Immigration Law and Policy:  Previous experience with immigration law and/or policy is preferred.
  • Reasoning, Other Skills and Abilities:   Experience making public presentations and preparing and delivering testimony to committees of the government. Experience creating persuasive written documents for external consumption. Experience analyzing the complex policy arena and crafting appropriate responses.


Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, and sit.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.


Work Environment: 

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987

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