Five things you should know about Measure 105

by Stephen Manning — Posted in blog on October 24, 2018

  1. Measure 105 seeks to repeal ORS 181A.820, Oregon’s disentanglement law, frequently called the state’s “sanctuary” law. The statute is 31-years-old and was passed with broad bipartisan support and support from law enforcement.  It allows local law enforcement to investigate crime and to seek out information about suspects, while directing their resources away from biased policing, racial profiling and immigration enforcement activities. By prohibiting the use of local resources to detect or apprehend immigrants whose only alleged violation of law is an immigration violation, the statute provides clear guidance to law enforcement serving Oregon’s diverse communities.
  2. ORS 181A.820, the law Measure 105 would repeal, was passed in response to rampant racial profiling in rural communities. Prior to the passage of ORS 181A.820, it was common practice for law enforcement to go to areas with significant Hispanic populations and arbitrarily arrest and detain people until they could prove their citizenship or legal residency. In 1977, Delmiro Trevino, a US citizen of Mexican descent, was publicly interrogated by a group of police officers at the Hi Ho Restaurant in Independence, Oregon. Trevino reported the incident to attorney Rocky Barilla, who filed a class action lawsuit based on Oregon law enforcement’s racially discriminatory practices. The lawsuit paved the way for the creation and subsequent adoption of Oregon’s disentanglement statute.
  3. Measure 105 was authored by an out-of-state anti-immigrant think tank called the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR boasts close ties to white supremacist organizations and has long track record of supporting anti-immigrant initiatives. Measure 105 is just one of several initiatives that FAIR created to repeal disentanglement laws nationwide; Oregon is the only state that put it on the ballot, making our state a battleground in the nationwide fight to preserve these laws.
  4. Measure 105 is only supported by two organizations, yet opposed by over 400 organizations and law enforcement professionals. The principal supporters of the measure are FAIR and Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), both of which have been designated anti-immigrant  hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Opponents of the measure include over 400 law enforcement professionals, district attorneys, advocacy groups, and businesses, including the ACLU of Oregon, AFL-CIO, Nike, and Columbia Sportswear.
  5. If Measure 105 is passed, it will have disastrous effects on community safety. Repealing the disentanglement law leaves space for racial profiling and discrimination, and decreases trust between communities of color and local law enforcement. Research has consistently shown that when immigrant communities do not trust local law enforcement, they are less likely to report a crime if they are a victim or a witness, thus leading to a widespread public safety crisis.



To learn more about the history of ORS 181A.820, read a comprehensive report authored by the Innovation Law Lab, “Belong: Strengthening Oregon’s Disentanglement Statute to Enhance Public Safety, Protect Fundamental Rights, and Promote Collective Prosperity.

The full text of the ORS 181A.820 statute can be found here.

Support Erin and Hamidou

by Stephen Manning — Posted in blog Sheridan on October 9, 2018

“It has been seven months since I left my country, and I do not know what has become of my wife and children because I have not been able to communicate with them… I feel a deep anguish with every passing day. I pray to God and hope that I will soon leave this prison.”


“Desde que salí de mi país hace siete meses que no se nada de mi familia, de mis hijos y de mi esposa, por falta de comunicación. Es una angustia muy difícil en la que me encuentro dia con dia. Pero le pido a Dios que todo esté bien y que pronto salga de esta prisión.”


Through community support of the Bond+ Fund, we have raised over $11,500, leading to the release of two individuals, Carlos and Abdoulaye, whose bonds totalled $8,500. Today, Carlos and Abdoulaye are free from detention and united with their families and friends.

There are still two men inside facing costly bonds with limited resources and several more awaiting decisions on bond who may need assistance very soon.

Erin, an asylum seeker from Honduras, and Hamidou, an asylum seeker from Mauritania, remain in Sheridan, each facing a steep $7,500 bond.

The total amount we need to pay Erin and Hamidou’s bonds is $15,000. As of today, we have approximately $3,000 remaining in the Bond+ Fund. With your help, we can raise the $12,000 more needed to free Erin and Hamidou from Sheridan.

Make a gift to the Bond+ Fund

Establishing the Law Lab Bond+ Fund

by Stephen Manning — Posted in blog Sheridan on September 28, 2018

Make a Gift to the Law Lab Bond+ Fund

In late May, 123 immigrants were detained at the federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon, simply because they came to the United States to seek asylum. By early August, every individual represented by the Law Lab won his claim to stay in the country to pursue asylum.

After many court hearings, pleas, public appeals, and direct action, 87% of the men in Sheridan have been released from detention. However, like elsewhere in the country, many individuals remain detained despite having won their credible fear claims and having bona fide grounds for release.

We are turning to you, our community, for partnership to secure the release of the asylum-seeking individuals who remain detained and to support them in uniting with their families and communities. But we also need your partnership in moving beyond bond.

The mass detention apparatus of the Trump Administration uses a flawed and immoral bond system. The bond system creates untenable stresses on families and communities and is at odds with our values as a nation.

So this cannot only be a bond fund. This fund will also develop a prototype for a new system to replace the flawed and oppressive power dynamic of the current bond process.

Our experience at Sheridan and in detention centers across the country underscores the need for an alternative to bond. As we fight for the release from detention for those still detained, let us create a legacy that extends beyond this moment in time, and envision a world in which mass detention ceases to exist.

We hope you will join us.

Defend Everyone: Creating the Equity Corps of Oregon to Provide Universal Representation

by Stephen Manning — Posted in blog General Massive Collaborative Resistance Rights Architecture on May 12, 2018

Last month, the Innovation Law Lab, in partnership with other members of Oregon Ready, published and presented a report entitled “Defend Everyone: Creating the Equity Corps of Oregon to Provide Universal Representation.”

The report calls on government bodies in Oregon to provide legal defense funding for community members in removal defense proceedings. The concept that no individual should face possible deportation without a lawyer is often referred to as “universal representation.”

Furthermore, the report recommends adopting an innovative approach to truly achieving a state of universal representation. The model proposed draws on the power of technology and collaboration for scalability and effectiveness. A visual can be found on page 18.

Legal representation is the single most predictive factor in whether an immigrant will prevail against an unjust deportation. With an attorney, immigrants will fare better at every stage of the court process. However, as immigration law is considered a civil matter, defendants are not entitled to a government-provided lawyer.

The federal government has activated the machinery of mass detention and deportation–ICE arrests are up in virtually every part of the country, and Jeff Sessions’ has proposed changes that would pressure judges to seek deportation over options for relief. State and local government are in a unique position, in which they can support policy and programs that stop the deportation of immigrant communities of color.

Read the report

The report was authored by Stephen W. Manning, Executive Director of the Innovation Law Lab; Leland Baxter-Neal, Immigration Attorney at Metropolitan Public Defenders; Lindsay Jonasson, Student at Lewis & Clark Law School; Juliet Stumpf, Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School; and , Development Director at the Innovation Law Lab.

The Universal Representation Committee of Oregon Ready is comprised of individuals from Causa, Catholic Charities of Oregon’s Immigration Legal Services, Immigrant Defense Oregon of Metropolitan Public Defenders, Immigration Counseling Service, Innovation Law Lab, Transformative Immigration Law Class at Lewis & Clark Law School, and Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.

Please direct any questions to at

Innovation Law Lab argues that Jeff Sessions’ anti-immigrant bias renders him unfit to re-evaluate asylum case

by Stephen Manning — Posted in blog General Uncategorized on April 30, 2018

On Friday, April 27, 2018, the Innovation Law Lab filed an amicus brief with United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, challenging his decision to reopen a settled asylum case on the grounds that his anti-immigrant and anti-asylum conduct disqualify him from exercising his authority to refer and review immigration cases.

“It appears the Attorney General of the United States is using his powerful position to advance a radical and unlawful rewrite of the law of asylum,” said Stephen Manning, Executive Director of the Innovation Law Lab. “His connections with white nationalist and alt-right organizations are troubling and problematic. Foundational principles of fairness require that he recuse himself—and his staff—from deciding on the Matter of A-B-.

The case at hand, known as the Matter of A-B- (initials are used to protect the asylee’s privacy), involves a domestic violence victim who fled to the United States after she was unable to obtain protection in her own country. Details on the case were initially kept secret by the Justice Department, but later made public by the attorneys who represented her. It was also later learned that Sessions selected this case for consideration in spite of objections from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Sessions’ decision to refer individual immigration cases to himself for review is an overstep of his authority and can adversely affect the outcome of future asylum cases. By overturning past decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), Sessions can, in effect, rewrite asylum and immigration policy.

The Innovation Law Lab was represented by Nadia Dahab of Stoll Berne, a Portland-based law firm. The amicus brief prepared by Nadia and her team draws from research from the Southern Poverty Law Center, particularly, the Extremist Files and Hatewatch, to cogently analyze and map the Attorney General’s connections to white nationalist and anti-immigrant organizations.

The brief argues that insofar as the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires the Attorney General to fairly and impartially administer immigration laws and the Attorney General and his staff promote racist and white nationalist viewpoints, the Attorney General has prejudged the issues presented in the Matter of A-B- and, therefore, cannot be an impartial judge where immigration and asylum law is concerned.

The Innovation Law Lab joined several other legal and advocacy organizations in voicing concerns over Sessions’ decision to reevaluate the Matter of A-B-. Other organizations that also submitted amicus briefs include the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc (CLINIC), the Tahirih Justice Center, and the American Bar Association (ABA).

Read the Innovation Law Lab amicus brief

See Jeff Sessions’ connections to anti-immigrant advocates and organizations

Please direct all inquiries to at

Building the Resistance: Innovation Law Lab Impact Report

by Stephen Manning — Posted in blog General Massive Collaborative Resistance on March 29, 2018

We are thrilled to share our latest report with you. “Building the Resistance: Innovation Law Lab Impact Report” is now available online.

The mass incarceration and deportation of immigrant communities of color has long been underway in the United States. With the election of President Donald Trump, what few safeguards existed for immigrants and refugees are now under attack. The need for scalable immigrant representation models and sites of resistance is greater than ever before.

Our impact report captures the collaborative work we have done over the past 18 months. Some of the highlights include:

  • Established four Centers of Excellence across the country, which provide pro bono representation for families formerly held in family detention centers
  • Launched BorderX, our model to scale representation of adult immigrants in detention
  • Trained 296 attorneys
  • Placed over 70 pro bono asylum cases affecting over 150 people
  • Been recognized by Financial Times as one of the most innovative legal organizations in North America

Read the report

Asylum seeker wins release from Texas detention center; collaborative advocacy instrumental

by Stephen Manning — Posted in blog on March 27, 2018

Otero County Detention Center is located in Chaparral, New Mexico, approximately 30 miles north of El Paso, Texas.

Santiago*—an asylum seeker who was wrongfully detained by ICE—was released on bond through powerful legal advocacy made possible through BorderX, an initiative of the Innovation Law Lab, and the expert representation of Linda Rivas, executive director and managing attorney at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas.

Santiago crossed the border and requested asylum in September 2017, at which point ICE sent him to an adult immigrant detention center. “ICE detention is a terrifying black hole for the majority of immigrants forced to endure it,” said Ian Philabaum, program director at the Innovation Law Lab. “Limited access to counsel, horrific conditions, and a lack of communication with support networks are all used as tools to coerce people eligible for relief to self-deport.”

Thanks to intentional and coordinated advocacy efforts on the part of many organizations and individuals, including Santiago himself, Santiago’s case was not lost in the black hole of immigrant detention. Advocates that work along the U.S.-Mexico border alerted the Innovation Law Lab of Santiago’s case early on, and the Innovation Law Lab coordinated with Las Americas to win his release on bond.

Even so, Santiago spent over six months in unlawful detention before a judge was compelled to authorize his release in accordance with the law. “Under the law, an asylum-seeker should not be imprisoned unless they are a danger or a flight-risk,” said Stephen Manning, executive director of the Innovation Law Lab, “But following the law would mean less profit for the private prison industry.”

The Trump Administration continues to expand for-profit detention and continues to unlawfully detain asylum seekers like Santiago. At any given time there are upwards of 30,000 adults in immigrant detention centers, with over 70% held in facilities operated by for-profit prison companies, two of the largest being the GEO Group and CoreCivic (formerly CCA).

“There are simply not enough attorneys to represent everyone in immigrant detention; the nonprofit sector in the area is especially limited” said Rivas. “BorderX has enabled Las Americas to take on more cases like Santiago’s completely free of charge.”

Santiago has now been reunited with loved ones, and will be able to continue to pursue his asylum claim outside of detention.

*Client’s name has been changed to protect privacy.

BorderX is a collaborative representation model designed to win release from detention for adults in immigrant detention centers. To learn more, click here.

5 Features of LawLab You Need To Know About

by Stephen Manning — Posted in blog Training Webinar on January 29, 2018

You want to manage your immigration law practice better—win every case every time. And with LawLab, you can: register for a free, live webinar.

Used by the largest immigrant defense consortiums in the country in some of the harshest jurisdictions, LawLab’s legal practice management software simplifies your daily tasks. Find what you need when you need it and get things done fast.

See how LL 5.1.0 can make your day easier, from managing cases to interviewing clients, to setting strategy in this 60-minute webinar, hosted by Stephen Manning, the Legal Director of the Law Lab and Elizabeth Skokan, Helpdesk Support.

You’ll learn how LL 5.1.0 helps you:

  • Organize cases and client information
  • Securely manage all case and client information from any computer
  • Create workflow automations
  • Set and assign tasks
  • Create reports

Set your clients up to win.

Innovation Law Lab finalist for the Financial Times “Innovative Lawyers Awards” North America 2017

by — Posted in blog General on November 22, 2017

The pioneering immigration law work of the Innovation Law Lab has been recognized by The Financial Times, which has shortlisted us for its Innovative Lawyers Awards North America 2017.

Our founder and legal director, Stephen W. Manning, is one of ten finalists in the “Legal Innovator of the Year” category, which recognizes individuals who have come up with original ideas, have shown the courage to change the way legal work is done, and have had a powerful influence in their industry or wider society.

Manning’s work has been recognized in several Oregon-based publications during the last year, including Oregon Super Lawyers and Oregon Business.

“This recognition brings needed attention to the power of passion, process, and collaboration to defend the most vulnerable in our world against powerful interests that would undermine the law,” Manning stated in response to the news.

“I am hopeful this recognition will help us further scale our work,” added Interim Executive Director Sophia Tzeng.

Now in its eighth year of publication and covering the US, Canada, and Mexico, the FT North America Innovative Lawyers Report has become one of the top legal rankings in the region. Award winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on December 11, 2017 to be held at the New York Public Library.

Please direct all inquiries to , Development Director, at or (971) 238-1804.

LawLab 5.1.0 Is Live!

by Stephen Manning — Posted in blog Platform Release Notes Updates on November 4, 2017

We are happy to announce the 5.1.0 release of LawLab.  This release features a number of major improvements including Interview and Active Case Management. Interview is a single-page application that lets interviewers collect and organize the maximum amount of client information in a flexible format, allowing them to conduct interviews in a way that is most comfortable for the client and the interviewer. Active Case Management is a productivity tool that automates workflows and triggers case events, ensuring that process is well-defined and utilized throughout the practice.

A feature that has been often requested has now arrived: Access Control!  This allows an Administrator to create Limited users who may only access specific Records, and may have different, fine-grained permissions applied to various Records.

Another important part of the 5.1.0 release is an overall security hardening of the LawLab application.   Password encryption, while adequate, has been significantly strengthened. Administrators now have the ability to require that a user change their password on next login, allowing initial passwords to be shared then immediately replaced by the user.  Users will also be greeted with a new login notice stating the last time and location of their session, and a warning if it appears to be significantly different from the prior session.

A number of other smaller, “behind the scenes” improvements and changes have been made to facilitate even bigger features coming soon!

Breaking Changes

  • As a result of improved password security, Calendar ICS and RSS feed URLs will need to be recreated once after the user’s first login post-upgrade.  Existing URLs will no longer function
  • Administrator accounts with either default email addresses or passwords will be forced to update their email and/or password information on the next login.

Major Features / Improvements

  • Interview Application
  • Active Case Management Workflows
  • Auto fill new Docket entries with attachments and comments
  • Unified Parties
  • Access Control
  • Security Hardening
  • Multi-User Dashboard

Bug Fixes / Minor Improvements

  • Added ability to print Task report directly from Dashboard
  • Improved UI button consistency
  • Security Role functionality is consistent across the site
  • Gender added to party
  • Task report improvements
  • Password reset page styling improvements
  • Calendar library upgrade
  • Calendar event/task comment details now scroll with page
  • Include Gender in Parties report
  • Dashboard options now persist for entire login session instead of being reset each page view
  • XSLX export support has been removed
  • Docket styling improvements to indicate future/past entries
  • Case Actions may now be limited to specific Case Types
  • Remove Flash requirement for address clipboard copy support
  • Added Religions
  • Prevent identically named items from being created in some dropdowns (Case Types, Case Actions, etc)
  • Fix case when Events without comments wouldn’t match when Advanced Search was ran with no query and a Case Action specified
  • Allow sorting by Attorney column in Records and Consultations view
  • Allow searching by Attorney in Consultations
  • Fix for error when certain Consultations are returned in Management Report

LL 5.1.0 will be available in beta until January 29, 2018. You can create a subscription and take advantage of beta pricing here.