Hector Ruiz Portrait

Héctor Ruiz

Senior Program Associate

Héctor has over a decade of experience in immigrant rights and immigration legal services work. Héctor was an Immigrant Justice Corps fellow at Immigration Equality in NYC, where they represented LGBTQ+ immigrants and asylum-seekers facing removal and seeking protection benefits. Héctor then returned to their hometown of El Paso, Texas to provide legal support and technical assistance to pro bono lawyers representing parents separated from their children during the “zero tolerance” policy, in collaboration with the American Immigration Council and Santa Fe Dreamers Project (SFDP). Afterwards, they became a Staff Attorney and later Legal Director for SFDP’s removal defense program, providing representation and legal support to hundreds of mostly LGBTQ+ asylum-seekers detained at the border, while training and supervising other attorneys and representatives. Héctor also published an article that continues to be used in support of gender-based asylum claims in collaboration with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies in San Francisco, and worked on international refugee protection issues with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Héctor was the Legal Program Director for the International Rescue Committee offices in Texas, where they oversaw strategic program design and delivery of legal services fo resettled refugees, immigrants, and asylum-seekers. Héctor holds a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a BA in International Security and Conflict Resolution from San Diego State University, and is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.