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 rig 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.
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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: https://www.americanbar.org/about_the_aba/codeofconduct/

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.

Operating as usual

ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego staff have served as first-hand witnesses to the ways in which the global p...
04/26/2021

ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego staff have served as first-hand witnesses to the ways in which the global pandemic has affected the people they represent and serve, most of whom are in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. For IJP's Legal Director Lauren Cusitello, as the world "returns to normal" post-pandemic, the immigration detention system should not revert to the way it used to be.

Read HERE: bit.ly/2Pod8Tk

ABA Immigration Justice Project of San Diego staff have served as first-hand witnesses to the ways in which the global pandemic has affected the people they represent and serve, most of whom are in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. For IJP's Legal Director Lauren Cusitello, as the world "returns to normal" post-pandemic, the immigration detention system should not revert to the way it used to be.

Read HERE: bit.ly/2Pod8Tk

Lindsay Schenk, a HIAS Border Fellow attorney at ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, experienced how...
04/20/2021

Lindsay Schenk, a HIAS Border Fellow attorney at ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, experienced how the anguish of many years of uncertainty under Remain in Mexico program quickly turned into gratitude and hope as asylum-seekers started being processed into the U.S. to continue their cases. Read more about this experience from an attorney’s perspective and what this means for asylum-seekers: bit.ly/2QiqMI7

Lindsay Schenk, a HIAS Border Fellow attorney at ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, experienced how the anguish of many years of uncertainty under Remain in Mexico program quickly turned into gratitude and hope as asylum-seekers started being processed into the U.S. to continue their cases. Read more about this experience from an attorney’s perspective and what this means for asylum-seekers: bit.ly/2QiqMI7

Have questions about the TPS designation for Venezuela and Burma? Get some helpful facts, procedures, and deadlines in o...
04/20/2021

Have questions about the TPS designation for Venezuela and Burma? Get some helpful facts, procedures, and deadlines in our latest factsheet and checklist to see if you or your loved ones are eligible and learn how to apply.

Read HERE: http://bit.ly/3v476GA & http://bit.ly/32sCqCL

Have questions about the TPS designation for Venezuela and Burma? Get some helpful facts, procedures, and deadlines in our latest factsheet and checklist to see if you or your loved ones are eligible and learn how to apply.

Read HERE: http://bit.ly/3v476GA & http://bit.ly/32sCqCL

04/16/2021

We will never forget the violence, kidnappings, and overwhelming fear that asylum-seekers at the Southern border had to endure while forced to wait in Mexico for the last two years under the MPP program. ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project is proud to partner with HIAS and the UNHCR to help process these courageous individuals into the United States and provide on-the-ground legal services.

04/16/2021

This Monday, IJP staff attorney Kai Medeiros presented his first oral argument before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Kai argued that his client, who has been detained since 2018, should not be deported to Mexico because he faces an unacceptably high risk of torture there. The case is Benavídez-León v. Garland, No. 20-70931, and the court could issue its decision as early as this week. Link to the argument: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI7v15xTFMs

American Bar Association Commission on Immigration Vera Institute of Justice San Diego County Bar Foundation The California Wellness Foundation

Timeline Photos
04/15/2021

Timeline Photos

Join the #ABAHispanicCommission and our cosponsoring entities @ABA_CRSJ and @ABA_Immigration on April 26th at 1pm ET for this timely webinar on understanding DACA!

Register here: http://ow.ly/Y93S50EoNyR

@ABADiversity @ABAesq

04/14/2021

Know your rights presentations have long been a lifeline for migrants who are navigating the impossibly complex immigration court system on their own. Our colleagues at ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project in Harlingen, Texas, have been working hard to provide legal assistance to asylum-seekers formerly under the MPP program through presentations, like the one shown here:

04/12/2021
Asylum seekers crossing the border

After four years of obstacles, delays, and hardship, asylum-seekers who have been forced to wait for their immigration hearings in Mexico, subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, are finally processed into the United States unleashing much relief and joy. ProBAR staff have had the privilege of assisting MPP-affected asylum seekers enter the United States since the end of February, in both Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville, Texas.

During their final moments in Mexico and first moments in Brownsville, Texas, so many asylum-seekers expressed gratitude for the end of their suffering and determination to meet all legal and immigration court requirements in the U.S. These courageous individuals have withstood so much for an opportunity to present their cases to an immigration judge and it has been an honor to witness and support this historic moment.

ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project

Kayo Beshir, a community organizer and former refugee, offers tips on expanding access to legal services to Black immigr...
04/08/2021

Kayo Beshir, a community organizer and former refugee, offers tips on expanding access to legal services to Black immigrants and ways to help without disempowering the community in our latest blog post. Have you incorporated any of Kayo’s strategies in your practice?

Read our latest blog post HERE: https://bit.ly/2OvEwyf

Kayo Beshir, a community organizer and former refugee, offers tips on expanding access to legal services to Black immigrants and ways to help without disempowering the community in our latest blog post. Have you incorporated any of Kayo’s strategies in your practice?

Read our latest blog post HERE: https://bit.ly/2OvEwyf

Join us tomorrow!!
04/08/2021

Join us tomorrow!!

Join us on 4/9 at 12:00 p.m. ET for a #free webinar on the recent influx of unaccompanied children at the border. Major news outlets are reporting daily on this “humanitarian challenge,” which comes after over 10,000 children were expelled from the border region under the prior administration.

Hear from experts discussing who these children are, why they are coming now, and how the U.S. government is receiving them.

In this webinar, Dalia Castillo-Granados – Director, ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy; Mark Greenberg – Senior Fellow and Director, Human Services Initiative, Migration Policy Institute, Member, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration; Michelle L. Saenz-Rodriguez – Co-Founder and Senior Attorney, Saenz- Rodriguez and Associates,P.C., Member, Board of Governors, American Immigration Lawyers Association; Carly Salazar – Legal Director, ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project; Mary Giovagnoli – Senior Counsel for Legal Strategy and Special Programs, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Member, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration, will discuss how to respond in a fair, efficient and humane manner.

Register HERE: bit.ly/31sKqmy

04/05/2021

Join us on 4/9 at 12:00 p.m. ET for a #free webinar on the recent influx of unaccompanied children at the border. Major news outlets are reporting daily on this “humanitarian challenge,” which comes after over 10,000 children were expelled from the border region under the prior administration.

Hear from experts discussing who these children are, why they are coming now, and how the U.S. government is receiving them.

In this webinar, Dalia Castillo-Granados – Director, ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy; Mark Greenberg – Senior Fellow and Director, Human Services Initiative, Migration Policy Institute, Member, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration; Michelle L. Saenz-Rodriguez – Co-Founder and Senior Attorney, Saenz- Rodriguez and Associates,P.C., Member, Board of Governors, American Immigration Lawyers Association; Carly Salazar – Legal Director, ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project; Mary Giovagnoli – Senior Counsel for Legal Strategy and Special Programs, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Member, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration, will discuss how to respond in a fair, efficient and humane manner.

Register HERE: bit.ly/31sKqmy

Have questions about the realities of unaccompanied children arriving to the southern border? The ABA Children's Immigra...
03/19/2021

Have questions about the realities of unaccompanied children arriving to the southern border? The ABA Children's Immigration Law Academy explains what's behind the headlines in its latest fact sheet.

Read HERE: https://bit.ly/2OOWUlY

Have questions about the realities of unaccompanied children arriving to the southern border? The ABA Children's Immigration Law Academy explains what's behind the headlines in its latest fact sheet.

Read HERE: https://bit.ly/2OOWUlY

When ICE Detention Standards vary by facility, oversight, transparency, and accountability are lost. Elizabeth Taufa, a ...
03/15/2021

When ICE Detention Standards vary by facility, oversight, transparency, and accountability are lost. Elizabeth Taufa, a staff attorney with the Commission on Immigration’s Detainee Correspondence Project, calls for consistency across all facilities.

Read HERE: https://bit.ly/3lj2WXK

When ICE Detention Standards vary by facility, oversight, transparency, and accountability are lost. Elizabeth Taufa, a staff attorney with the Commission on Immigration’s Detainee Correspondence Project, calls for consistency across all facilities.

Read HERE: https://bit.ly/3lj2WXK

"Although MPP has done a great deal of lasting damage, the mood is overwhelmingly happy. Being in a position to welcome ...
03/04/2021
Dozens of asylum seekers from tent camp in Matamoros, Mexico enter the US

"Although MPP has done a great deal of lasting damage, the mood is overwhelmingly happy. Being in a position to welcome people to the US and seeing the joy and relief is a beautiful thing to be a part of." -Hannah Gordon, ProBAR Legal Fellow

We and our colleagues at ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project celebrate as the U.S. processes hundreds of asylum seekers from the harsh and dangerous Matamoros tent camp. Forced to remain in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols for nearly two years, only a small number remain at the camp that last week housed almost 900. ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project is on the ground in Brownsville, Texas, providing legal assistance alongside members of the RGV Welcoming Committee.

A spokesperson for the city of Brownsville said from Wednesday to Sunday, more than 270 asylum seekers were allowed into the city.

Disparate racial impacts in the criminal justice system mean disparate racial impacts in deportations. UC Davis School o...
03/02/2021

Disparate racial impacts in the criminal justice system mean disparate racial impacts in deportations. UC Davis School of Law Dean Kevin Johnson examines the facts of a traffic stop and arrest that put Jamaican immigrant Adrian Moncrieffe in the arrest-to-deportation pipeline that led all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read HERE: https://bit.ly/3q6rOTn

Disparate racial impacts in the criminal justice system mean disparate racial impacts in deportations. UC Davis School of Law Dean Kevin Johnson examines the facts of a traffic stop and arrest that put Jamaican immigrant Adrian Moncrieffe in the arrest-to-deportation pipeline that led all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read HERE: https://bit.ly/3q6rOTn

Kids in line for their green cards shouldn’t be deported while they wait. The ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy d...
02/24/2021

Kids in line for their green cards shouldn’t be deported while they wait. The ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy director Dalia Castillo-Granados breaks down critical ways to strengthen SIJ status for immigrant youth at risk of removal.

Read HERE: http://bit.ly/39mCWX6

Kids in line for their green cards shouldn’t be deported while they wait. The ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy director Dalia Castillo-Granados breaks down critical ways to strengthen SIJ status for immigrant youth at risk of removal.

Read HERE: http://bit.ly/39mCWX6

It’s not too late to register! Join us today at 11 AM EST for this exciting panel!
02/19/2021

It’s not too late to register! Join us today at 11 AM EST for this exciting panel!

The first 100 days of a new administration is often marked by a flurry of executive orders and initiatives that will set the stage for the next four years. After four years of presidential policies that sought to dramatically restrict immigration, however, the Biden-Harris administration faces the extraordinary challenge of articulating a vision for immigration reform while simultaneously rebuilding the immigration infrastructure. What actions will the administration take during this critical time? How different will the approach be from President Obama’s policies? Will President Biden rely on the use of Executive Orders to rebuild our immigration system? Will he roll back the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration rules and regulations? Or will he rely on the courts and Congress to create permanent reform to our immigration system?

Join the Commission on Immigration and the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice as we host a high level panel of government officials, Members of Congress and immigration advocates to discuss the challenges faced by the Biden-Harris administration and how the vision of “Build Back Better” applies to U.S. immigration policy.



Join us on February 19 from 11-12:30 EST. Register HERE: bit.ly/2OslF6N

The first 100 days of a new administration is often marked by a flurry of executive orders and initiatives that will set...
02/17/2021

The first 100 days of a new administration is often marked by a flurry of executive orders and initiatives that will set the stage for the next four years. After four years of presidential policies that sought to dramatically restrict immigration, however, the Biden-Harris administration faces the extraordinary challenge of articulating a vision for immigration reform while simultaneously rebuilding the immigration infrastructure. What actions will the administration take during this critical time? How different will the approach be from President Obama’s policies? Will President Biden rely on the use of Executive Orders to rebuild our immigration system? Will he roll back the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration rules and regulations? Or will he rely on the courts and Congress to create permanent reform to our immigration system?

Join the Commission on Immigration and the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice as we host a high level panel of government officials, Members of Congress and immigration advocates to discuss the challenges faced by the Biden-Harris administration and how the vision of “Build Back Better” applies to U.S. immigration policy.



Join us on February 19 from 11-12:30 EST. Register HERE: bit.ly/2OslF6N

The first 100 days of a new administration is often marked by a flurry of executive orders and initiatives that will set the stage for the next four years. After four years of presidential policies that sought to dramatically restrict immigration, however, the Biden-Harris administration faces the extraordinary challenge of articulating a vision for immigration reform while simultaneously rebuilding the immigration infrastructure. What actions will the administration take during this critical time? How different will the approach be from President Obama’s policies? Will President Biden rely on the use of Executive Orders to rebuild our immigration system? Will he roll back the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration rules and regulations? Or will he rely on the courts and Congress to create permanent reform to our immigration system?

Join the Commission on Immigration and the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice as we host a high level panel of government officials, Members of Congress and immigration advocates to discuss the challenges faced by the Biden-Harris administration and how the vision of “Build Back Better” applies to U.S. immigration policy.



Join us on February 19 from 11-12:30 EST. Register HERE: bit.ly/2OslF6N

The first 100 days of a new administration is often marked by a flurry of executive orders and initiatives that will set...
02/12/2021

The first 100 days of a new administration is often marked by a flurry of executive orders and initiatives that will set the stage for the next four years. After four years of presidential policies that sought to dramatically restrict immigration, however, the Biden-Harris administration faces the extraordinary challenge of articulating a vision for immigration reform while simultaneously rebuilding the immigration infrastructure. What actions will the administration take during this critical time? How different will the approach be from President Obama’s policies? Will President Biden rely on the use of Executive Orders to rebuild our immigration system? Will he roll back the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration rules and regulations? Or will he rely on the courts and Congress to create permanent reform to our immigration system?

Join the Commission on Immigration as we host a high level panel of government officials, Members of Congress and immigration advocates to discuss the challenges faced by the Biden-Harris administration and how the vision of “Build Back Better” applies to U.S. immigration policy.



Join us on February 19 from 11-12:30 EST. Register HERE: bit.ly/2OslF6N

The first 100 days of a new administration is often marked by a flurry of executive orders and initiatives that will set the stage for the next four years. After four years of presidential policies that sought to dramatically restrict immigration, however, the Biden-Harris administration faces the extraordinary challenge of articulating a vision for immigration reform while simultaneously rebuilding the immigration infrastructure. What actions will the administration take during this critical time? How different will the approach be from President Obama’s policies? Will President Biden rely on the use of Executive Orders to rebuild our immigration system? Will he roll back the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration rules and regulations? Or will he rely on the courts and Congress to create permanent reform to our immigration system?

Join the Commission on Immigration as we host a high level panel of government officials, Members of Congress and immigration advocates to discuss the challenges faced by the Biden-Harris administration and how the vision of “Build Back Better” applies to U.S. immigration policy.



Join us on February 19 from 11-12:30 EST. Register HERE: bit.ly/2OslF6N

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1050 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400
Washington D.C., DC
20036

Telephone

+12026282810

Products

The following publications are available for download and for purchase on our website at www.americanbar.org/immigration:

-ABA Civil Immigration Detention Standards (2012)

-ABA Know Your Rights Video (2012)

-Reforming the Immigration System: Proposals to Promote Independence, Fairness, Efficiency, and Professionalism in the Adjudication of Removal Cases (Full Report and Executive Summary) (2019)

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