Shebaya Joins with New Board Leadership, Including Carlos Moctezuma García as Chair of the Board

For Immediate Release

August 9, 2019

Contact: Guy Yarden,

Boston – Today, the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) announced its selection of Sirine Shebaya as the next Executive Director of the organization. Shebaya is a long-time immigrants’ rights activist and civil rights lawyer who brings with her a wealth of experience working with and for immigrant communities of color, using litigation and legal advocacy tools to fight back against oppressive, racially discriminatory immigration enforcement policies.

Shebaya, who is currently serving as the Interim Legal Director for Muslim Advocates, will officially begin as the NIPNLG Executive Director in September 2019 and will be working on a part-time consulting basis with NIPNLG until then.

Shebaya will begin her tenure as ED under new Board Leadership, with a new Executive Committee led by Carlos Moctezuma García, the new Chair of the Board of Directors.

“I look forward to working with staff, members, partners, and board to begin healing and strategic planning processes that will allow NIPNLG to continue to fulfill its core mission: that of protecting and providing support to immigrant communities of color.”
–Sirine Shebaya

“NIPNLG has always played a unique role in the immigrants’ rights movement, grounding its legal work in partnership with the communities most impacted by a racist, draconian immigration enforcement regime,” said Sirine Shebaya. “It cannot be denied that this has been a very difficult transition time for NIPNLG that has highlighted pressing issues the organization needs to address. I look forward to working with staff, members, partners, and board to begin healing and strategic planning processes that will allow NIPNLG to continue to fulfill its core mission: that of protecting and providing support to immigrant communities of color.”

Founded in 1971 as a committee of the National Lawyers Guild, NIPNLG became a freestanding organization in 1981. NIPNLG works to protect the rights of noncitizens entangled with the criminal justice system, victims of government abuse and misconduct, and those facing summary removal. NIPNLG plays a critical role in the national discussion on advancing the rights of immigrants and is one of the nation’s most well-regarded immigrants’ rights organizations. It is one of the few national organizations that specializes in defending the rights of immigrants facing incarceration and deportation.

“The Board is thrilled to bring Sirine on board. For years we’ve been impressed with her commitment to the civil rights and immigrant rights movement and now she joins us at the Project to lead this great organization into the future,” said Carlos Moctezuma García, the incoming chair of the NIPNLG board. “I am extremely excited to work together with Sirine to create a new beginning while honoring the legacy and movement of the NIPNLG.”

Please join the Board in welcoming Sirine Shebaya to her new leadership role with NIPNLG.

sirine shebaya

About Sirine Shebaya

Sirine Shebaya most recently served as the Interim Legal Director for Muslim Advocates, where she continued her work to advance the rights of immigrants and communities of color. In that role, she represented impacted community members and organizations in extensive, high-profile litigation related to the Muslim Ban, border enforcement, immigration enforcement and detention, and surveillance of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities. She also participated in and oversaw litigation and advocacy on numerous other matters relating to the rights of Muslims in the immigration and criminal justice systems.

Before joining Muslim Advocates, Shebaya was Program Director of the Virginia Justice Program at the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, where she supervised and litigated criminal-immigration cases before the immigration and federal courts and advised criminal defense attorneys on immigration-related matters. She also litigated habeas petitions for immigrants in prolonged detention.

Shebaya previously initiated and directed an immigrants’ rights program for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, where she developed a full docket of litigation, advocacy, and public education on immigration detention and enforcement matters. She partnered with local community organizations to play a lead role in a campaign resulting in a wave of county policies prohibiting the detention of immigrants for ICE at local jails. She also led litigation on behalf of a woman who was racially profiled and targeted by local police, which resulted in a settlement agreement that included large scale changes in the police department’s policies on immigration enforcement. During her time with the ACLU of Maryland, she authored two reports on immigration detention in Maryland that helped support community-based advocacy efforts to end local collaboration with ICE.

Shebaya was one of the founding organizers of the Dulles Justice Coalition, a group of lawyers, organizers, translators, and community volunteers created to assist travelers to Dulles Airport affected by the Muslim Ban.

She has been honored with the Capital Area Muslim Bar Association Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service and Commitment to Advancing Justice; the Americans for Democratic Action Winn Newman Equality Award; and the NIPNLG Daniel Levy Award (for the Dulles Justice Coalition). She is a member of three state bars and is admitted to practice in ten federal courts.