Attacks on civil rights and civil liberties are coming fast and strong, but because of support from passionate and generous Oregonians, the ACLU of Oregon is continuing to add aggressive advocates to our team to fight for the rights of everybody in the state.
We are happy to introduce Ricardo Lujan, policy associate, and Leland Baxter-Neal, staff attorney.
Ricardo Lujan an immigrant rights activist and our new policy associate, was born in Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. He later graduated from Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University.
In college, “Rico” was a board member and legislative director of the Oregon Student Association, where he advocated for affordability and accessibility in higher education. He also was a student senator and associate justice with the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University. Rico previously served as the state board co-chair for Unite Oregon, a statewide social justice organization, and later worked as the bilingual/bicultural organizer for Unite Oregon’s Rogue valley Chapter.
Rico is already hard at work to ensure civil rights and civil liberties are at the forefront of Oregon’s next legislative session.
Leland Baxter-Neal, an immigration law specialist and graduate of the Lewis & Clark Law School, joins us after working at Immigrant Defense Oregon, a project at Metropolitan Public Defender. There he represented people in deportation proceedings and worked with unaccompanied minors held in a secure detention facility. He also worked to improve access to immigration legal services and worked with Oregon Ready to help develop and advocate for a universal representation project at the portland immigration court.
In his first weeks here, Leland has already been front and center in the fight immigrant detainees at the Sheridan federal prison to get access to lawyers. This week a federal judge ruled that the governement must allow lawyers into the prison.