Curran & Berger LLP (http://curranberger.com/) – in Northampton, Ma. – is looking for students interested in assisting with AILA’s Pro Bono Project for detained families on the border.
In June of 2014, the Obama Administration opened a detention center at the existing Federal Law Enforcement Center in the remote oil town of Artesia, New Mexico that was specifically designated for the detention of mothers caught crossing the border with their children. All of the women were subject to “expedited removal” but could not be deported without an interview with an asylum officer to determine whether they had a credible fear or returning to their home countries, and therefore a reasonable possibility of prevailing on an asylum claim. In June and July, w/ little access to attorneys, most women failed their interviews and were immediately deported.
In July, AILA began the Pro Bono Project to provide legal representation to the women in Artesia (and other subsequent detention centers). A growing support network developed around the country with volunteers in every state drafting briefs and motions, conducting legal research, collecting primary evidence, and translating Spanish documents into English.
What volunteers can do
The scope of this project is enormous and involves representation of hundreds and hundreds of women. Remote volunteers are preparing most of the filings for these cases. Specifically, in almost every case, we are filing a memorandum and documentation in support of a motion for custody redetermination. In other words, we are asking for the judges to issue an order granting each family release upon the payment of a reasonable bond amount. We also need remote help with translations and legal research.
We also need volunteers on the ground in Texas who can perform intakes with new arrivals, develop clients’ case theories, ready clients for court, prepare documents, and when possible represent them in interviews and hearings. Volunteers on the ground must be fluent in Spanish or bring their own interpreters.
Please let me know if you are interested in volunteering for this project and details about your availability and background.
Megan E. Kludt, Esq. (email@example.com)
Curran & Berger LLP
74 Masonic St
Northampton, MA 01060