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Erika Pinheiro

Al Otro Lado

As Executive Director of the non-profit Al Otro Lado, Erika Pinheiro leads her organization's efforts in providing legal and humanitarian support to thousands of migrants seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border and in US immigration detention facilities. She also leads the organization’s impact litigation project, filing class action lawsuits challenging policies that restrict access to the US asylum system, as well as slave labor practices and severe medical neglect in immigration detention facilities. Her team has reunified dozens of separated families, including parents who were deported without their children, and has freed dozens of detained asylum seekers.. Before joining Al Otro Lado, Pinheiro administered one of the largest DACA programs in California, as well as representation programs for Unaccompanied Children. She also oversaw high-volume Legal Orientation Programs for adults and children detained in immigration prisons.

Pinheiro's work on behalf of unaccompanied children, refugee families and vulnerable detained migrants is frequently featured in national and international media outlets. She also provides on-the-ground context regarding US border policies to policy makers, including state Attorneys General, members of the US Congress, California elected officials, and other federal, state, and local policymakers on both sides of the US-Mexico border. She has also provided technical assistance and numerous training regarding immigration law and policy to attorneys, the California State Bar, Federal Public Defender offices and Los Angeles County agencies.

Pinheiro holds both a JD and MPP from Georgetown University.

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