Immigrants' Rights Organizations
Organizations seeking non-lawyer and lawyer volunteers:
The Immigration Justice Campaign promotes access to legal counsel for immigrants held in detention centers by building a broad network of pro bono allies training private lawyers to defend immigrants facing removal. They seek lawyers willing to be trained and mentored to represent detained immigrants; removal defense experts willing to mentor new volunteers; and non-lawyers, such as interpreters, who can provide support to pro bono legal teams.
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.
The Advocates for Human Rights works both nationally and internationally on asylum and other issues. This organization provides a guide for NGOs, nonprofits, and activists to become involved in domestic and international human rights advocacy. They are seeking both lawyer and nonlawyer volunteers for individual representation, court observers, interpreters/translators, office and events support, and remote database work.
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 for interpreters, attorneys, law students, and others, here.
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso provides legal representation to immigrants who might not be able to afford it otherwise. It’s accepting volunteers and donations.
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.
The Children’s Immigration Law Academy has pro bono attorneys representing children in immigration-related proceedings. It's also providing specialized training to legal service providers and volunteers who are serving unaccompanied immigrant children. (Non-lawyer volunteers may be able to help—the website isn’t clear.)
Organizations seeking volunteers who are lawyers (in addition to those listed above):
American Gateways provides legal services and representation to detained parents. Currently American Gateways is seeking volunteers to represent detained parents and is accepting donations.
The CARA Project is currently recruiting attorneys, law students and paralegals with experience in asylum work. The CARA Project asks volunteers to be fluent in Spanish or willing to work with an interpreter.
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.
Organizations seeking donations (in addition to those listed above):
Free Our Neighbors uses donor funds to pay immigration bonds for people held in immigration jail who currently lack the means to pay the bond themselves, especially channeling donations to remote areas with few resources.
Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley shelters immigrants who've recently been released from U.S. Border Patrol custody.
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 Austin Bar Association Civil Right and Immigration Section is coordinating training for pro bono attorneys to handle credible fear interviews for asylum seekers.
South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project is providing free legal services to asylum seekers detained in South Texas.
Justice for Our Neighbors provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant individuals and families in Texas.
The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is raising money to provide immigrant children "immediate shelter and beds, medical services, counseling and therapy to help them deal with the trauma of family separation.
Together Rising is collecting money that'll go to advocacy groups that are working to reunify immigrant children with their families.
Comfort Cases is raising money to provide backpacks to the separated immigrant children. Each case will contain items such as blankets, pajamas, toiletries, a stuffed animal, a book, a journal and art supplies.
Tahirih Justice Center is providing free legal and social services to immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence.
Circle of Health International has staffed a clinic caring for refugees and asylum seekers immediately upon their release. Their McAllen clinic is currently seeing upwards of 100 patients a day.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement requires that all people who want to foster one of the unaccompanied immigrant children be fully licensed by their state. If you are not already licensed, the agency recommends contacting organizations such as United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.
Annunciation House is helping serve immigrants and refugees in El Paso. The organization is accepting donations here. [Note: The Asylum/CAT clinic has worked with the sole on-staff attorney at Annunciation House. She and the other volunteers there are awesome.
The Human Rights Initiative of North Texas is representing asylum seekers as well as unaccompanied minors — including those separated from parents.
The Salvation Army of El Paso is supporting 17 shelter rooms for separated families while they await reunification with their children and their court hearings.
Baker Ripley's team of immigration attorneys are providing representation to detained families seeking asylum as well as working to reunite children and parents.
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.
The Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee in El Paso started the Fronterizo Fianza Fund, which will go toward things like posting bond for asylum seekers.
Organizations advocating at the international level:
A coalition of Texas groups are working at the Inter-American Commission: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/31/texas-based-attorney-ask-oas-order-feds-end-family-separation/
The Advocates for Human Rights advocates both nationally and internationally, and provides a guide for NGOs, nonprofits, and activists to become involved in domestic and international human rights advocacy. They are seeking both lawyer and nonlawyer volunteers for individual representation, court observers, interpreters/translators, office and events support, and remote database work.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23174&LangID=E and the government of Mexico: https://noticieros.televisa.com/ultimas-noticias/mexico-condena-separacion-familias-eu-es-cruel/
Organizations advocating at the national level (besides KIND and some of the organizations above):
The Flores litigation team is recruiting attorneys and volunteer interpreters to interview kids.