Volunteer to Assist Immigrant Communities
This page was created in response to requests from my friends, family members and colleagues inquiries on how to volunteer and provide aid to immigrant communities. It contains links to organizations who provide volunteer opportunities for both lawyers and non- lawyers. I hope it will provide a starting point to becoming engaged.
In Solidarity, Karla
Legal Volunteer Opportunities
Attorney Volunteers in Tennessee - Provide Pro Bono Deportation Assistance to immigrants arrested in Morristown Immigration Raid. Organized in conjunction with the Vanderbilt Immigration Practice Clinic, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Tennessee Faith and Justice Alliance and Catholic Charities of East Tennessee - Office of Immigrant Services.
The Dilley Pro Bono Project “DPBP” operates a non-traditional pro bono model of legal services that directly represents the children and women incarcerated at the Dilley detention center. Attorneys, law students and paralegals are needed to volunteer (special interest in those with experience in asylum work). Spanish speakers are preferred. If you don’t speak Spanish, you should consider collaborating with an interpreter to join you.
Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law - Join one or more detention site inspections and interviews with immigrant minors to collect evidence to be presented to the court overseeing implementation of the Flores settlement dealing with conditions of detention and the release of detained minors nationwide. Lawyers, paralegals and interpreters are invited to join the planned inspections and class member interviews.
Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project works to prevent the deportation of asylum-seeking families fleeing violence. The group accepts donations and asks people to sign up for volunteer opportunities here. SAP’s crowdsourcing model has relied on the support of volunteer attorneys, law students, interpreters, and many others around the world.
- ASAP - Throw a Fundraiser - Invite your friends and family to support ASAP and defend refugee families. Learn more about hosting a fundraiser here.
The CARA Project is currently recruiting attorneys, law students and paralegals with experience in asylum work. The group asks volunteers to be fluent in Spanish or willing to work with an interpreter.
The Austin Bar Association Civil Right and Immigration Section is coordinating training for pro bono attorneys to handle credible fear interviews for asylum seekers.
La Posada Providencia in San Benito runs a shelter for people who have applied for asylum and been released from detention centers while their cases are pending. Volunteer program is diverse with many exciting opportunities for both individuals and groups including: Lawyers, especially those with expertise in immigration law, Doctors of all kinds, Nurses, Dentists, Midwives, Optometrists, Psychiatrists and counselors, Opticians, Orthodontists, Pharmacists, Accountants, Educators and Culinary professionals.
Volunteer Opportunities for Lawyers and Non - Lawyers
Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law - Reunify Project - legal and medical volunteers to register for detention site inspections planned over the next several weeks. The detained children have now spoken out, and what they've said is they are experiencing hunger, enforced dehydration, enforced sleep deprivation, insults and physical assaults. Its a national human rights calamity few people are aware of. Our most recent memorandum re compliance with the Flores settlement is available at this link. Selected exhibits are available at this link The Flores settlement is available at this link.
The Florence Project - provide free legal and social services to detained adults and unaccompanied children facing immigration removal proceedings in Arizona. Our vision is to ensure that all immigrants facing removal have access to counsel, understand their rights under the law, and are treated fairly and humanely.
- Volunteer as a pro bono attorney, an interpreter, researcher, medical professional, expert witness, or to offer administrative assistance.
RAICES is a nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas. It’s accepting donations and volunteers at its website. In addition, the #postcards4families campaign will donate $5 to RAICES for every postcard kids write to help the separated immigrant children.
- Volunteer with RAICES - accepts all volunteers even those without legal experience.
Kids In Need of Defense partners with major law firms, corporations and bar associations to create a nationwide pro bono network to represent unaccompanied children through their immigration proceedings. Volunteers don’t need to have immigration law experience. Ways to contribute and volunteer through KIND:
- Help in translating for a child so she/he can successfully present his or her case
- Collect toys and schools supplies for kids being served at a local KIND office
- Ask to hold a donation service at your local church or community center
- Make a donation in honor of a friend or family member’s birthday
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is training adults who want to become “child advocates” who will work one-on-one with unaccompanied immigrant children while they are subject to deportation proceedings.
Donate to Organizations Assisting Separated Immigrant Children
South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project is providing free legal services to asylum seekers detained in South Texas.
Tahirih Justice Center is providing free legal and social services to immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence.
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley shelters immigrants who've recently been released from U.S. Border Patrol custody.
The Human Rights Initiative of North Texas is representing asylum seekers as well as unaccompanied minors — including those separated from parents.
Justice for Our Neighbors provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant individuals and families in Texas.
Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services is the largest provider of free and low cost immigration services in West Texas and says it's the only organization in El Paso serving unaccompanied children.
The Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee in El Paso started the Fronterizo Fianza Fund, which will go toward things like posting bond for asylum seekers.
The Migrant Center for Human Rights is providing free and low-cost legal services for detained asylum seekers in Texas.
Black Lives Matter : #BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was posthumously placed on trial for his own murder. Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our dehumanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society.
Repairers of the Breach : nonpartisan and ecumenical organization that seeks to build a progressive agenda rooted in a moral framework to counter the ultra-conservative constructs that try to dominate the public square.
Vote Run Lead : supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.
CtznWell : Group focused on lessening the Wellbeing Gap in the United States. Focusing on creating collective power around real collective change that ensures that everyone is well.
Network of Spiritual Progressives : secular humanists, atheists and people who are “spiritual but not religious” as well as people from every religious community who share the values of love, generosity, creativity, wonder and a commitment to respect one another.