American Bar Association Commission on Immigration

American Bar Association Commission on Immigration The Commission directs the Association’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees within the United States.
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Guided by resolutions adopted by the American Bar Association House of Delegates, the Commission on Immigration works to coordinate and strengthen the ABA’s response to legal developments and to address the needs of immigrants and newcomers. Among our greatest concerns are the erosion of due process safeguards, the growing reliance on detention, and the lack of access to legal information and counsel for individuals in immigration proceedings, particularly unaccompanied immigrant children. The ABA Board of Governors has designated immigration to be a legislative priority of the ABA in each Congress since 1992. The ABA Board of Governors established a 13-member Commission on Immigration in August 2002, and a 10-member Advisory Committee to the Commission in 2005. The Commission works to achieve its goals through five major projects: South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR): Founded in 1989, ProBAR is a joint project of the ABA, the State Bar of Texas, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). ProBAR provides pro bono legal services and legal orientations for indigent, detained immigrants and asylum seekers in south Texas. Additionally, ProBAR assists detained unaccompanied immigrant children through representation and by training and coordinating the work of pro bono attorneys, and providing information to educate the children about their rights and the legal process. www.americanbar.org/probar Immigration Justice Project of San Diego (IJP): Initiated in 2008, the IJP aims to promote due process and access to justice at all levels of the immigration and appellate court system, through the provision of high-quality pro bono legal services for both detained and non-detained immigrants and asylum seekers in removal proceedings. In order to accomplish this, the IJP recruits, trains, and mentors volunteer attorneys and law students and provides Legal Orientation Programs for adult immigration detainees at the local immigration court and detention center. www.americanbar.org/ijp Detention Standards Implementation Initiative (DSII): DSII coordinates delegations of pro bono attorneys to visit detention centers to observe and report on conditions and to assess whether detainees have meaningful legal access. This initiative seeks to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Performance Based National Detention Standards at facilities housing immigrants and asylum seekers. http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_services/immigration/projects_initiatives/detention_standards_implementation_initiative.html The Fight Notario Fraud Project: The Fight Notario Fraud Project seeks to put an end to immigration consulting fraud by: 1) providing attorneys, and other individuals, with information on how to take action against notarios, 2) creating a library of consumer education, articles and legal documents relevant to reporting, or pursuing a case against, an immigration consultant, and 3) facilitating the referral of victims of immigration consulting fraud to pro bono attorneys who will to represent them in civil litigation. http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_services/immigration/projects_initiatives/fightnotariofraud.html Detainee Correspondence Project: The ABA is the only organization in the country that accepts calls and letters from all 250 detention facilities across the nation with a goal of ensuring that immigrants and asylum seekers detained by the ICE have access to basic information about their rights. The Commission on Immigration communicates with immigration detainees in ICE custody in detention centers, determining what information may assist them, and sending the appropriate materials. The ABA identifies specific complaints regarding the condition of immigration detention facilities and assists detainees to file complaints when facility conditions do not satisfy the detention standards. The ABA encourages you to participate and welcomes constructive engagement between members, provided your conduct is consistent with the ABA Code of Conduct: http://www.americanbar.org/utility/codeofconduct.html The posts (and any corresponding materials) and views on this page have not been approved by the ABA, the ABA Commission on Immigration, or their staff or governing bodies.

Mission: The Commission directs the American Bar Association’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants and refugees within the United States. Acting in coordination with other Association entities, as well as governmental and non-governmental bodies, the Commission: 1) advocates for statutory and regulatory modifications in law and governmental practice consistent with ABA policy; 2) provides continuing education and timely information about trends, court decisions and pertinent developments for members of the legal community, judges, affected individuals and the public; and 3) develops and assists the operation of pro bono programs that encourage volunteer lawyers to provide high quality, effective legal representation for individuals in immigration proceedings, with a special emphasis on the needs of the most vulnerable immigrant and refugee populations. Guided by resolutions adopted by the ABA House of Delegates, the Commission works to coordinate and strengthen the ABA’s response to legal developments and to address the needs of immigrants and newcomers. Among our greatest concerns are the erosion of due process safeguards, the growing reliance on detention, and the lack of access to legal information and counsel for individuals in immigration proceedings, particularly unaccompanied immigrant children. The ABA Board of Governors has designated immigration to be a legislative priority of the ABA in each Congress since 1992. ABA Code of Conduct: http://www.americanbar.org/utility/codeofconduct.html

Operating as usual

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
11/16/2020

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Join us on December 9-10, 2020 for "2020 US Elections Aftermath: A Social Justice Policy Summit!"

In the wake of the 2020 US Presidential elections, the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Rights of Immigrants Committee - in strategic partnership with The German Marshall Fund of the United States - is hosting a policy summit designed to advance racial equity and social justice principles. Over the course of two days, the interdisciplinary conference will explore myriad manifestations of interpersonal, structural, and institutionalized discrimination to create enhanced awareness around these issues. The convening will also culminate in concrete community-driven policy recommendations to achieve positive social, political, and legal reform to ensure a better tomorrow for all.

Register HERE: https://bit.ly/2IMAgXO

10/28/2020
Change a Life, Make an Impact: Immigration Pro Bono Reflections & Opportunities

Change a Life, Make an Impact: Immigration Pro Bono Reflections & Opportunities

During National Celebration of Pro Bono week, the ABA Commission on Immigration hosted a webinar to highlight recent pro bono experiences by volunteer attorneys. Hear directly from volunteers about their representation of asylum seekers who were detained in U.S. immigration detention centers located on the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition, learn about opportunities to volunteer with the ABA Projects, including remote volunteer opportunities to represent asylum seekers through ProBAR and Immigration Justice Project, as well as opportunities to represent unaccompanied migrant children through a platform hosted by the Children's Immigration Law Academy. Pro bono work is so critical, particularly during this challenging time of the coronavirus pandemic. Watch the recording here to learn how you can change a life and make an impact.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nDDcBDTVN0

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
10/22/2020

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

In honor of the National Celebration of Pro Bono, join the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the ABA Commission on Immigration on 10/27 at 3:00 p.m. ET for a #free webinar, "Change a Life, Make an Impact: Immigration Pro Bono Reflections & Opportunities." Pro bono work is so critical, particularly during this challenging time of the coronavirus pandemic.

In this webinar, Laura Egan – Senior Staff Attorney, ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy; Rosemary Hollinger – Founder & Professional and Leadership Coach, Partner Up LLC; Christopher “Kai” Medeiros – Staff Attorney, ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego; Daniel H. Owsley – Associate, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP; and Laura Peña – Pro Bono Counsel, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration, will discuss their representation of asylum seekers who were detained in U.S. immigration detention centers located on the U.S.-Mexico border and learn about opportunities to volunteer with the ABA Projects.

Register HERE: bit.ly/3jiNW9G

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
10/19/2020

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

NEXT WEDNESDAY: The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the ABA Commission on Immigration are jointly hosting a virtual screening of “The Undocumented Lawyer” and a Live Q&A on 10/21 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

This documentary short film follows Lizbeth Mateo, an undocumented attorney who swore to uphold the Constitution, as she fights for justice for her clients. When a client takes sanctuary in a church, Lizbeth’s own experience guides her.

Register HERE: bit.ly/3lI5cab

07/22/2020
American Bar Association

American Bar Association

The ABA Virtual Annual Meeting will provide an environment to connect with industry leaders, stay engaged with colleagues, and continue the conversation on advancing justice and civil rights. The meeting is free for ABA Members. Register today! https://ambar.org/9fbfw

#ABAAnnual

The Vera Institute of Justice released findings from a new epidemiological model estimating the prevalence of COVID-19 i...
06/30/2020
Vera’s New Prevalence Model Suggests COVID-19 is Spreading through…

The Vera Institute of Justice released findings from a new epidemiological model estimating the prevalence of COVID-19 in immigration detention. The report, The Hidden Curve: Estimating the Spread of COVID-19 among People in ICE Detention, is summarized in the blog post below.

Vera’s model makes it clear that ICE is severely underreporting the prevalence of COVID-19 in detention, and raises many unanswered questions about why they continue to book people, and transfer them between facilities, amidst a pandemic.

https://www.vera.org/blog/covid-19-1/veras-new-prevalence-model-suggests-covid-19-is-spreading-through-ice-detention-at-much-higher-rates-than-publicized

Little is known about the prevalence of COVID-19 in immigration detention facilities run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Yet, conditions of…

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
06/23/2020

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

TODAY! Don’t miss our #free webinar discussing the proposed legislative changes to gender-based violence asylum and what it would mean for individuals seeking safety in the U.S.

Mary Giovagnoli – Senior Counsel for Legal Strategy and Special Programs, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND); Charanya Krishnaswami – Advocacy Director for the Americas, Amnesty International USA; Aaron Reichlin-Melnick – Policy Counsel, American Immigration Council; Kursten Phelps – Co-Director of Client Advocacy, Tahirih Justice Center; and Jennie Kneedler – Staff Attorney, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration, will discuss these concerns and what they mean for the asylum system as a whole.

Join the livestream HERE: https://bit.ly/2Xi3D8m

There's still time to register for today's free webinar, "How the ABA is Serving Detained Immigrants During COVID-19 and...
06/11/2020

There's still time to register for today's free webinar, "How the ABA is Serving Detained Immigrants During COVID-19 and How You Can Help"!

Join us as staff from each of our projects discuss challenges facing adults detained by ICE and unaccompanied children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, how their work has changed during COVID-19, and how lawyers can assist adult migrants detained in South Texas and San Diego with requesting release on parole.

Join us on 6/11 at 3:00 p.m. ET for a #free webinar, "How the ABA is Serving Detained Immigrants During COVID-19 and How You Can Help."

In this webinar, Priscilla Orta – Senior Staff Attorney, South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project; Ambreen Walji – Pro Bono Coordinator and Staff Attorney, Immigration Justice Project; Chloe Walker – Senior Staff Attorney, Children’s Immigration Law Academy; and Jennie Kneedler – Staff Attorney, ABA Commission on Immigration, will discuss challenges facing adults detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and unaccompanied children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, how their work has changed during #COVID19, and how lawyers can assist adult migrants detained in South Texas and San Diego with requesting release on parole.

Register HERE: https://bit.ly/2U8sdHP

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
06/03/2020

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Join us on 6/11 at 3:00 p.m. ET for a #free webinar, "How the ABA is Serving Detained Immigrants During COVID-19 and How You Can Help."

In this webinar, Priscilla Orta – Senior Staff Attorney, South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project; Ambreen Walji – Pro Bono Coordinator and Staff Attorney, Immigration Justice Project; Chloe Walker – Senior Staff Attorney, Children’s Immigration Law Academy; and Jennie Kneedler – Staff Attorney, ABA Commission on Immigration, will discuss challenges facing adults detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and unaccompanied children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, how their work has changed during #COVID19, and how lawyers can assist adult migrants detained in South Texas and San Diego with requesting release on parole.

Register HERE: https://bit.ly/2U8sdHP

Donate $5, $50, $500 on #GivingTuesdayNow to help immigrants gain the legal access needed to apply for asylum and other ...
05/05/2020

Donate $5, $50, $500 on #GivingTuesdayNow to help immigrants gain the legal access needed to apply for asylum and other forms of relief. #Give5on5 ambar.org/donateimmigration

On #GivingTuesdayNow support lawyers helping to file bond motions and humanitarian parole requests to get immigrants wit...
05/04/2020

On #GivingTuesdayNow support lawyers helping to file bond motions and humanitarian parole requests to get immigrants with heightened risk of illness or death out of detention. #Give5on5 and stand with the ABA. ambar.org/donateimmigration

During these difficult times, the ABA is even more grateful for you – members, volunteers, and donors who continue to ma...
05/01/2020

During these difficult times, the ABA is even more grateful for you – members, volunteers, and donors who continue to make legal services a reality for migrant children and families. #GivingTuesdayNow #Give5on5 ambar.org/donateimmigration

Help over 20,000 children and adults each year navigate the complex U.S. immigration system. Join us on #GivingTuesdayNo...
04/28/2020

Help over 20,000 children and adults each year navigate the complex U.S. immigration system. Join us on #GivingTuesdayNow and #Give5on5 ($5, $25, $50 or more) to support free legal services. ambar.org/donateimmigration

04/15/2020

Don't forget to join us for this free webinar tomorrow, April 16th at 2:00 pm Eastern!

This webinar will feature national experts on responding to public health emergencies both domestically and internationally, as well as reflections from immigration practitioners and a medical professional who will share best practices for serving individuals in a detained setting while confronting a global pandemic.

For more information or to register, please see: https://americanbar.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UlvWcHRZRCyUMvh6_NnopA

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
04/15/2020

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Join us on 4/16 at 2:00 p.m. ET for a #free webinar, “Immigration Policy and Practice During the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

In this webinar, Alice Farmer – Legal Officer, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency; Fatma Marouf – Professor of Law and Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic, Texas A&M University School of Law; Aileen M. Marty, M.D. – Professor of Infectious Disease, FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine; Dr. Dora Schriro – Special Advisor, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration; Fermin Vargas – Senior Staff Attorney, ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego; and Denise Gilman – Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Immigration Law Clinic, The University of Texas School of Law, will share responses to public health emergencies both domestically and internationally, as well as reflections and best practices for serving individuals in a detained setting while confronting a global pandemic.

Register HERE: https://bit.ly/2x02ybQ

Don't forget about tomorrow's free webinar: There is a National Emergency at the Southern Border.True or False?  From co...
02/18/2020

Don't forget about tomorrow's free webinar: There is a National Emergency at the Southern Border.True or False?

From congressional resolutions to terminate the public emergency to ensuing federal litigation challenging it, our experts will discuss legal developments and related ramifications one year later.

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1299735295859106316

Join us on Wednesday, February 19 from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST for the fourth installment of our #free Immigration Webinar Series, “There is a National Emergency at the Southern Border. True or False?” On February 15, 2019, President Trump declared a national emergency at the U.S. Southern Border with Mexico in order to build a wall. Moderator Engy Abdelkader and panelists Erica Newland – Counsel at Protect Democracy; Laura Peña – Pro Bono Counsel at the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration; and Seth Weinberger – Professor of Politics and Government at the University of Puget Sound will discuss legal developments stemming from the declared public emergency.

Register HERE: http://bit.ly/2BtI6Ph

Join the ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego and Legal Aid Society Of San Diego, Inc. for a training to represe...
01/06/2020

Join the ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego and Legal Aid Society Of San Diego, Inc. for a training to represent asylum seekers before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) or Immigration Court.

The training takes place on January 9, 2020 at the University of San Diego.

6 MCLE credits will be earned for your attendance at this training. The course is offered at no-cost to attorneys who commit to accepting a pro bono case with IJP. Otherwise the cost is $150.

We hope to see you there!

Attorneys in California Bar Compliance Group 3 (N-Z), your MCLE reporting deadline is 2.3.2020!!

ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego​ and Legal Aid Society Of San Diego, Inc.​'s Removal Defense Training is a great opportunity to complete 6 HOURS while learning about representing asylum seekers.

This training is FREE if you commit to providing pro bono representation in the next year.

RSVP to [email protected]

ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego
12/03/2019

ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego

This GivingTuesday, you can help to defend the rights of immigrants in detention that are separated from their families, by supporting the ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego ... AND thanks to HIPGive matching your donations (up to $200) you can double your impact by contributing through this link https://hipgive.org/project/set-them-free/ by 6 pm on 12/3.

Learn more about our work and other ways to get involved @ https://hipgive.org/project/set-them-free/
#LatinxGive #HIPGive #GivingTuesday #undiaparadar

The ABA's ProBAR provides critical legal services to immigrants and asylum-seekers when principles of justice and due pr...
12/03/2019

The ABA's ProBAR provides critical legal services to immigrants and asylum-seekers when principles of justice and due process come under fire. In the past year alone, ProBAR served more than 25,000 detained children and adults. Support this vital work on this Giving Tuesday! https://donate.americanbar.org/immigration

We are so proud of the dynamic and inspiring women leading the Commission on Immigration and its projects!https://www.am...
11/26/2019
Women Lawyers Lead ABA’s Efforts to Ensure Due Process for Migrants

We are so proud of the dynamic and inspiring women leading the Commission on Immigration and its projects!

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/diversity/women/publications/perspectives/2019/november/women-lawyers-lead-abas-efforts-ensure-due-process-migrants/?fbclid=IwAR1R9ersh9vAep8724nsgd0m8S7nLwp1uWNd-DRSggfIQdS7HOwtMVfzGf4

The ABA’s Commission on Immigration empowers immigrants and asylum seekers through its service projects at the southern border and a legal resource center in Houston.

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
08/08/2019
ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

680 undocumented workers arrested in record-setting immigration sweep on the first day of school, leaving children traumatized and sobbing on what is meant to be one of the most exciting days of the year. ICE has been ramping up its worksite raids since 2016. ACLU Immigrant Defense Project American Bar Association Commission on Immigration
https://cnn.it/33vpziy

Tune in for a free webinar on Wednesday, July 24th at 3:00 ET, titled "Security Precautions for Immigration Advocates in...
07/23/2019

Tune in for a free webinar on Wednesday, July 24th at 3:00 ET, titled "Security Precautions for Immigration Advocates in an Era of Increasing Fear and Anger."

This webinar will identify anti-immigration actors, their motives, as well as practical security guidance to mitigate threats to your people, facilities and operations, while continuing to advance your missions. The discussion will focus on scalable safety precautions for NGOs of any size, with any budget.
Please pass this along to nonprofit colleagues who would like to learn more about taking precautions to protect our staff and our clients!

Panelists will include Huey Thornton, Security Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center; Liz Sweet, Chief of Staff at HIAS; Dan Andresen, Director of DC Operations for the ABA, and the program will be moderated by Bob Lang, Staff Attorney and supervisor of the ABA's Detainee Hotline.

To register, please visit:
https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6907084067224862220

American Bar Association Commission on Immigration
05/09/2019

American Bar Association Commission on Immigration

Hey! Have you heard about #ABADay Digital!? April 10-11, we are flooding social media and sending editable letters to ou...
04/10/2019
ABA Day Digital 2019

Hey! Have you heard about #ABADay Digital!? April 10-11, we are flooding social media and sending editable letters to our lawmakers to pave the way for the hundreds of attorneys storming Capitol Hill! Click here and add your voice: ambar.org/digitalday

ABA Day Digital 2019 is a unique event carried out completely online that gathers attorneys from all of the country in one, solid voice with the goal of advancing legislation affecting the legal profession.

Today is the big day! Join us today at 2:00pm in launching our 2019 Update to "Reforming the Immigration System"! It's o...
03/20/2019

Today is the big day! Join us today at 2:00pm in launching our 2019 Update to "Reforming the Immigration System"! It's our first comprehensive critique of America’s immigration system in a decade, and we include recommendations on how to improve it.
If you can't join us in person at the National Press Club, C-SPAN will be streaming the program here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?458956-1/american-bar-association-discussion-immigration

There's only one week left to submit your nominations for the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award!This award honors individual la...
02/21/2019
Award Nomination Criteria

There's only one week left to submit your nominations for the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award!

This award honors individual lawyers and institutions that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.

For more information, and to find out how to nominate visit: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/probono_public_service/projects_awards/pro_bono_publico_award/

Nominees for the Pro Bono Publico Awards must meet criteria set forth by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. The Committee is currently accepting nominations from the following two categories:

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