Staff Spotlight, IIBA’s New Legal Director, Catherine Seitz 

One of Catherine’s first jobs in immigration was at the International Institute in 1991. Now with nearly thirty years of experience in immigration law, she’s returned to IIBA as Legal Director, mentoring IIBA staff as they take on deportation defense cases. “It really is full circle,” Catherine says.

Catherine joins the IIBA team as we are expanding our services to include deportation defense.

The need for removal defense has “skyrocketed,” Catherine says, “There is more and more of a need, and more funding to meet that need, but the need is outpacing funding.”

IIBA’s goal is to address that need so that more people have access to legal representation.

Before joining IIBA, Catherine worked at Legal Services for Children as their Legal Director and at Bay Area Legal Aid as their Regional Immigration Coordinator, where she focused on immigration relief for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Catherine has a J.D. from U.C. Hastings and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from U.C. Berkeley, and has taught as an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University.  Catherine is a true native of the Bay Area. She was born in San Francisco, grew up in Oakland, raised her kids in West Marin, and now lives in Richmond.

With eight offices in six counties across the Bay Area, Catherine says IIBA’s regional presence is crucial in bringing removal defense to overwhelmed and underserved areas.

“IIBA is unique in that we have a presence all over the Bay Area, especially in some more rural areas,” Catherine says. “For us to be able to serve people that need us the most in the areas they live is extremely important.”

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