Visual Overlay

Globally Recognized Advocate and Practitioner, Elora Mukherjee, Selected as Inaugural Honoree

Apr. 19, 2023

The National Immigration Project is pleased to announce the launch of the Annual Elisabeth S. “Lisa” Brodyaga Award to honor one of its members for their outstanding work for immigrant rights.

The award is named after Elisabeth S. “Lisa” Brodyaga, a longtime National Immigration Project member whose career representing asylum seekers, other immigrants, and U.S. citizens spans more than 40 years. In 1985, Lisa co-founded Refugio Del Rio Grande, a non-profit refugee camp and law office on a 45-acre wilderness near Harlingen, Texas, where she still serves as a volunteer attorney. Lisa’s work has resulted in numerous critical, pro-immigrant court decisions in tough cases and jurisdictions.

Elora Mukherjee, the inaugural Annual Elisabeth S. “Lisa” Brodyaga Award honoree, is a globally recognized advocate, practitioner, and voice for immigrant rights. As founding director of Columbia Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and Jerome L. Greene Clinical Professor of Law, Elora's eyewitness accounts of the inhumane treatment of children along the Mexico-US border in 2019 sparked national and international outrage. Since November 2020, Elora has been supporting and advocating for women who were subjected to non-consensual medical procedures and abuse while detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia.

“Lisa had me at ‘it was around the time I ran away with the circus,' ” says Carlos Moctezuma García, Board Chair of the National Immigration Project. “Her story is like no other. Her legal acumen is at a level that we all try to attain, and her commitment to fighting court battles on behalf of and with immigrants is unmatched.” Carlos adds, “This award is for all of the people who fight just as hard, smart, and creatively as Lisa has done for so many years. Elora brings that same tenacious fighting spirit to her work, and could not be a better person for the inaugural Elisabeth S. “Lisa” Brodyaga Award.”

A virtual Happy Hour and reception will be held on Friday June 11th at 6pm (ET) to present Elora Mukherjee with the inaugural Elisabeth S. “Lisa” Brodyaga Award and celebrate her work.