Jose Perez served as LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s Legal Director from 2007 – 2021 and has been the lead lawyer in several precedent-setting immigrants’ rights cases: 1) establishing fair housing eviction protections for undocumented rent regulated tenants in NYC. Recalde v. Bae, 2008 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4397, July 15,2008, 2008 WL 2806577; 2) private landlords are not required to ascertain immigration status of prospective tenants. Bolmer v. Connolly Properties Inc., 09-4541, (3d Circuit 2012); 3) local law enforcement barred from enforcing administrative immigration warrants. Santos v. Frederick County Bd. of Comm’rs, 725 F.3d 451 (4th Cir. 2013); and 4) the Cesar Vargas bar admission case establishing that NY’s Character & Fitness Committee can determine a dacamented law graduate’s bar admission eligibility without any prior enabling state legislation authorizing such professional licensing, and that a dacamented law graduate can fulfill state character and fitness bar admission licensing requirements. In re Vargas, 10 N.Y.S.3d 579 (App. Div. 2015)
Jose who has mentored countless college and law students of color over the past three decades oversees LatinoJustice’s Cesar A. Perales (CAP) Leadership Institute and its many nationally recognized and innovative pre-law pipeline programs while continuing to manage internships and external pro bono relations. He is a 1985 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law where he created the award winning Spanish Street Law community education know your rights program. Jose began his legal career with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office; and has also served in NYCHA’s Anti-Narcotics Strike Force, the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights and Civil Divisions as a staff and supervising attorney, and as a supervising attorney at Hofstra University Law School Housing Rights and Disability Law clinics. Prior to joining LatinoJustice, he served as an Assistant Attorney General, Deputy Chief, and Acting Bureau Chief of the NYS Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds & Protection Bureau where he helped develop and lead the AG’s Latino immigration services (“notario”) fraud consumer protection initiative.