Follow our team of 5 attorneys, 5 interpreters, and 1 general volunteer as they participate in the Dilley Pro Bono Project.
Volunteer work includes: Conducting client intake, giving Know Your Rights presentations, credible fear and reasonable fear interview preparation, and administrative help with scanning, copying, and filing documents.Licensed attorneys are additionally eligible to provide accompaniment to credible and reasonable fear interviews, representation in custody redetermination hearings and negative credible and reasonable fear review hearings before the Immigration Judge, and administrative appeals to the Asylum Office.
Our COIN-led team heads out on February 17th. Let's go!
Monday, February 17th
I am so nervous and equally excited to be able to help moms and their kids in Dilley. We all deserve an opportunity to be believed and protected from the terrors that haunt us. Here’s to making a difference! -Vicky
Tuesday, February 18th
Today was difficult but we accomplished a great deal. -Julie
Wednesday, February 19th
One thing that has surprised me is the strength of these women. I knew in theory that the women would be strong, but they have really blown me away. I talked with a little girl yesterday and she amazed me with how caring her heart is regardless of the suffering she has experienced at such a young age. Talking with her was also a tough moment because we had to talk about some difficult things that have happened to her and it was hard to hear, but we found things to still laugh about and I enjoyed being with her very much. -Mollie
This has been an enriching, exciting, and incredibly rewarding experience. I was overwhelmed with emotion when I walked into the facility on Tuesday for the first time. I started crying for no one reason, but a mixture of several feelings including the reality that I'm really here! -Nancy
Currently there are about 1,400 women and children detained here. Our team of 11 is working hard meeting with these women who have fled unimaginable horrors in their home countries. At Dilley, all of the women and children are in ICE custody to await deportation and are seeking asylum in the US. This is the second year of volunteering for some of us and we have seen many changes since last year due to the myriad immigration changes that the current administration has made. Last year many of the women were from the Northern Triangle: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. This year, besides women from those countries we are also seeing many women from Mexico, Brazil and Haiti. We have seen many women who speak indigenous languages so it is difficult, if not impossible, to find an interpreter to explain the process to these women. We meet with the mothers to prepare them to go alone before an Asylum Officer to make their case for credible fear. Their children often sit through the difficult preparation and hear the stories of the horrors their mothers endured. At the end of each preparation, we always remind the mothers how brave and strong they are. While we are not permitted to touch the children or mothers for hugs, we exchange smiles and mutual gratitude for the time we had together. -Julie
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