June 18, 2013

Immigration Advocate Wins ACS’s David Carliner Public Interest Award

David Carliner Public Interest Award, Federal Defenders of San Diego, immigration reform, Inc., Kara L. Hartzler






Kara L. Hartzler of Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. Trumpets Work on Behalf of Immigrants


Amanda Simon

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Kara L. Hartzler, an appellate attorney at the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., was awarded the American Constitution Society’s (ACS) David Carliner Public Interest Awardat the 2013 ACS National Convention.

The award given annually to a mid-career public interest lawyer was presented to Hartzler at the Convention’s June 15 luncheon by Jacob Remes, grandson of the late David Carliner. The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, honors a mid-career attorney whose work best exemplifies Carliner’s legacy of fearless, uncompromising and creative advocacy on behalf of marginalized people.

At the Convention’s Carliner Award announcement, Hartzler said, “Immigration law is not just about people coming to the United States, it’s about how we treat them once they get there. And in that respect we still have a long way to go.”

Hartzler specialized in the immigration consequences of criminal convictions while working as Legal Director and Criminal Immigration Consultant at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona and is the author of Surviving Padilla:  A Defender’s Guide to Advising Noncitizens on the Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions

 In 2008, Hartzler testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Immigration on the detention and deportation of citizens and other due process violations in the immigration system.  She is also an active playwright whose plays have been performed and published in the United States and internationally.

The judges for this year’s David Carliner Public Interest Award were Nan Aron, Executive Director, Alliance for Justice; William Fletcher, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Wade Henderson, President and CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Patricia Wald, Former Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Former Judge, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; Deborah Carliner, Attorney, President, ACLU-NCA; and Sarah Remes, Attorney, D.C. Volunteer Lawyers Program.

Past recipients of the Carliner Public Interest Award are: Janson Wu, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD); Tim Freilich, Immigrant Advocacy Program, Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Va.; Cathleen Caron, Global Workers Justice Alliance, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Dori Rose Inda, Watsonville Law Center, Watsonville, Calif.

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS), founded in 2001 and one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations, is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals. For more information about the organization or to locate one of the more than 200 lawyer and law student chapters in 48 states, please visit www.acslaw.org