Volunteer and Resource Opportunities

This page provides a comprehensive list of training, volunteer, and donation opportunities for attorneys who would like to assist with migrant asylum and family separation cases. It will be continually updated as resources develop.

President's Message

State Bar of Texas President Joe Longley sent the following message to bar members on June 28 about the separation of immigrant families on the Texas border. Read his message here.

Resources

Credible Fear & Immigration Bond Hearing Training - The Austin Bar Association and American Gateways offered this training for attorneys who want to help families separated upon entering the U.S. Click here to view the training via Periscope. Click here to view the training handouts and other resources.

Free UT Law CLE eConference: “A Practical Guide to Immigration Removal Proceedings” —  UT Law CLE is offering those who do volunteer this complimentary eConference. It is designed for beginning to intermediate immigration practitioners involved with the increasingly complex area of removal proceedings. As a state agency, the law school is restricted, as is the State Bar, from taking a political position on immigration policy and from taking sides in asylum cases. But like the State Bar, we believe in assisting the courts in carrying on and improving the administration of justice and advancing the quality of legal services to the public. This course has been approved for 10.25 hours MCLE credit, of which 1.75 credit hours will apply to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit. Click here to register and enter promo code IFR100 at checkout. The code is valid through 12/31/18.

Free webinar and CLE: “Children’s Immigration Law: 2018 Round Up” — The ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) invites you to a free webinar presentation at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 that will provide a review of substantive and procedural changes in immigration law affecting children’s immigration law over the past year. The presentation will highlight both the ups and downs of the past months including creative strategies for litigating in this new environment. This training has been approved by the State Bar of Texas for 1 participatory hour of CLE credit including .25 hours of ethics credit. Click here to register.

Free Webinar: Best Practices for Representing Separated Parents and Children — The ABA Commission on Immigration, ProBAR, CRSJ and Children's Immigration Law Academy (CILA) presented a free webinar on July 13 for attorneys who wish to learn more about representing families separated by the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. Click here to watch it.

Volunteer and Donation Opportunities

Donations to the Texas Bar Foundation provide legal services to the poor, victim services, and promote the administration of justice. To make a donation, click here.

Texas Access to Justice Foundation has established a fund to assist migrant families in crisis and committed to immediately distribute donations to the areas and programs most in need. Find it here.

American Gateways, which provides a broad range of immigration legal services to low-income individuals and families throughout Central Texas, has reported that it needs attorneys to assist with its pro bono program serving asylum-seekers housed at the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas. The program provides training materials to pro bono attorneys so they may help detainees with Credible Fear/Reasonable Fear interviews and bond hearings. Interested attorneys can sign up here.

The ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) and the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services (DMRS) of El Paso seeks Spanish-speaking volunteer attorneys to provide legal services to detained immigrant children being held at the federal “Emergency Reception Center" at Tornillo. Attorneys licensed in any state are welcome to participate. Volunteers are needed on the ground as soon as September 24. Interested individuals should email CILA’s contract ERC Staff Attorney, Brandon Roché at brandon@rocheimmigration.com. Please include full name, bar state and number, and your availability to volunteer on site.

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center is looking for pro bono attorneys to come to El Paso for at least a week to provide much needed direct legal services on the ground. Immigration experience is a plus, but not required. Volunteers will be directly assisting detained asylum seekers in greater El Paso with their asylum claims. To learn more and fill out a short form confirming your interest, please click here. Additionally, if you have any questions, please contact Volunteer Pro Bono Coordinator, Melanie Gleason, Esq. at melanie@las-americas.org. To consider donating money or in-kind supplies, view Las Americas’ needs here.

South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)—a joint project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association—is requesting volunteers who are fluent in Spanish and have some background in immigration law. For more information, click here. To donate, go here.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which has been working hard on family reunification efforts along the border, reported that the agency could use donations. Interested individuals can donate online here. You can specify in the comments area if you would like the donation to be dedicated to the immigration team.

Texas Civil Rights Project is in urgent need of support representing parents in their immigration proceedings, particularly those who are detained at the Port Isabel Detention Center (PIDC). If you are a Spanish-speaking lawyer who could take on one or more cases at PIDC, and who could visit the clients soon (to get the G-28 appearance forms signed and filed ASAP - before the parents are deported), please sign up here. Note that attorneys must be committed to seeing these cases through to their conclusion.

Refugee And Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) requests that volunteers who wish to provide pro bono support to separated parents use this sign up form. General volunteers, including interpreters, can assist RAICES in other ways by signing up here.

Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) needs pro bono attorneys willing to provide legal representation to unaccompanied minors and separated children who will be released in the Houston area. KIND will partner volunteer attorneys with a KIND mentoring attorney for the duration of the case. Attorneys can email infohouston@supportkind.org if they would like to volunteer. KIND also needs donations to support legal services for children. You can donate here.

Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley is seeking attorneys able to provide direct representation for children’s immigration cases and is also accepting donations including books, toys, supplies, and other items, for detained children. To express a desire to provide representation, email probono@catholiccharities.org. To make donations and see an updated list of needs, click here.

The Tahirih Justice Center — which provides direct legal services, advocacy, and training and education to protect immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence — is working to support separated children and their parents and to ensure families are not subject to long term detention. They are seeking donations here.

CARA — the collective work of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association — is seeking volunteers at the Dilley and Karnes family detention center. Volunteer information can be found here.

Annunciation House serves the poor in the El Paso-Juarez community with short- to mid-term needs who may stay at the house for weeks or months. To view the needs of Annunciation House and donate click here.

The Hispanic National Bar Association has launched this page to promote volunteer and donation opportunities designed to assist separated families.

The Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative launched this page on how to help.