Jessica Bansal (she/her) is the Legal Director of Unemployed Workers United. Before joining UWU, Jessica worked as Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Southern California and Co-Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. She has litigated high-impact cases including Ramos v. Nielsen (preserving the immigration status of hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries of the humanitarian Temporary Protected Status program), Hernandez Roman v. Wolf (winning the release of hundreds of people from ICE detention during the pandemic), and Gonzalez v. ICE (challenging unconstitutional immigration detainer arrests). She worked closely on ground-breaking immigrants' rights legislation, including the California Values Act, and has represented numerous immigrant workers subjected to retaliation for defending their labor rights.
Jessica was previously an Adjunct Professor with the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the UC Irvine School of Law and law clerk for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Before law school, Jessica worked as a waitress, administrative assistant, tutor, and office temp. She also once had a job making molds of people’s teeth. She was raised on stories of her parents’ days working for the Socialist Labor Party and ran around underfoot in the family living room during meetings to end US wars in Central America. She believes her most important role as a lawyer is to support and help build the power of worker-led movements to create a just economy in which all people can thrive.