Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service welcomed Liz Sweet as Director for Access to Justice in August 2013. Liz brings substantial experience advocating on behalf of migrants and refugees and a demonstrated commitment to LIRS’s core values.
Liz’s leadership is exemplified by her tenure as the first full-time director of the American Bar Association (ABA) Immigration Justice Project. From the project’s base in San Diego, between 2008 and 2011, she developed a trailblazing pilot immigration pro bono project.
More recently, as Associate Director of the ABA Commission on Immigration, she led administrative advocacy before government agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on issues affecting immigrants and refugees. In that role, her responsibilities included drafting key public comments on regulations, advocacy letters, and participating in negotiations with government officials.
Liz’s experience on the front lines of the struggle for immigrant and refugee rights is most evident in her 2006-2008 work as Children’s Staff Attorney for the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona. She spent five years representing men, women, and children in immigration detention in the southwestern United States. Her other professional accomplishments include serving as part of the Witness for Peace team in 2001-2002 in Mexico.
Liz’s vision for Access to Justice is continued expansion of holistic services for detained migrants and those newly released from detention through a strong national network of legal and social service providers.