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Robert Juceam Receives Center for Migration Studies Lifetime Achievement Award

Accolades | October 14, 2021

The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) honored Fried Frank of counsel Robert E. Juceam with its 2021 Lifetime Service Award in recognition of his decades of service to immigrants and refugees. The award was presented at “Towards A New Day for Refugee Protection and Immigration,” CMS’ virtual gala, on October 14, 2021.

Throughout his long career, Mr. Juceam has represented numerous immigrants in a variety of cases while also inspiring generations of lawyers to take on pro bono immigration cases. He has served as a board member, officer, and legal counsel for numerous non-profits serving the immigrant community, including the American Immigrant Lawyers Association, the American Immigration Law Foundation, and the American Bar Association (ABA). 

Mr. Juceam led the team that incorporated and obtained tax exempt status for the CAIR Coalition which serves to fight alongside immigrant adults and children who are detained and facing deportation in the Washington, D.C., area. He is well-known for his work in the mid-1980s, when he challenged the US policy of interdicting Haitian refugees at sea and worked with the then Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights and the ABA to create a pro bono program to represent more than 2,000 Haitian asylum seekers. 

He testified repeatedly before Congress and spearheaded federal court litigation opposing the infamous 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act. He inspired Robert Katzmann, senior chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to establish the Study Group on Immigrant Representation: The First Decade. This led to the creation of the Immigrant Justice Corps in 2014, which has trained and deployed legal fellows in New York and around the country. He has worked tirelessly to establish a right to appointed council and removal proceedings and to promote the creation of the independent Article I Immigration Court.

“He is a passionate advocate who spent his career championing the efforts to provide pro bono services to immigrants,” said Jojo Annobil, executive director of the Immigrant Justice Corps, in describing Mr. Juceam. 

During Mr. Juceam's more than 50 years of practice of civil and white-collar criminal law litigation and investigations, he received numerous awards for his dedication to pro bono including: the John H. Pickering Award, which recognizes outstanding lawyers or judges with a record of service dedicated to improving access to justice for all; the 2013 Chesterfield Smith Award in recognition of his dedication to pro bono and public service; the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes Pro Bono Award; The American Lawyer 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for pro bono; the ABA Pro Bono Award; the American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Award; and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Center for Constitutional and Human Legal Rights.

“All of us need to find a way to join together to make clear that the interest of the migrant are interests of the world. Immigration work is the work of equal protection, due process, fairness, and believing in the rule of law. Those are not concepts limited to immigration,” Mr. Juceam said.

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) is a think tank and an educational institute devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers.

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