Removal Defense Program Administration 101


As people living in the United States continue to face the risk of deportation, the need for removal defense representation grows. In recent years, state and local governments and private philanthropies have partnered with legal service providers and community-based organizations to establish a network of legal representation programs for people facing removal, augmenting the federal government’s limited funding. Amidst this growth, program administration capacity is critical to building sustainable removal defense bandwidth, enhancing representation quality, and achieving the best outcomes possible for people facing removal. Vera’s Advancing Universal Representation Initiative developed this Removal Defense Program Administration 101 fact sheet to outline best practices for implementing, managing, and overseeing strong and sustainable removal defense programs. The fact sheet includes a values-based program administration framework, which has guided Vera’s own administration. It also discusses the range of program administrator responsibilities, stakeholders involved in removal defense programs, and resources needed for successful removal defense program administration.

Key Takeaway

As the need for removal defense representation continues to grow, removal defense program administrators are critical to building sustainable representation capacity, enhancing the quality of representation, and achieving the best outcomes possible for people facing removal.

Publication Highlights

  • Rooting program administration in a set of core values can help guide a program’s long-term strategy and daily operations toward providing and increasing high-quality removal defense representation.

  • The scope of a program administrator’s responsibilities can vary depending on the program’s parameters, available funding, and other factors, and should be clearly defined.

  • Effective program administration requires a committed funder willing to invest financially in program administration and an organization similarly committed to removal defense and willing to make an organizational investment in program administration.

Key Facts