Immigration Advocates Network

National Celebrate Pro Bono Pro Bono Net would like to recognize the thousands of volunteer lawyers who make a huge difference for those in need and the incredibly important work of pro bono volunteers in building our capacity to meet the vast unmet need for civil legal services. This year we have been celebrating National Pro Bono Week by focusing on disaster resiliency. Today we are highlighting additional pro bono work around the country, and sharing resources to help volunteer attorneys get started. 

Earlier this year, the separation of families at the boarder headlined news outlets everywhere. Now? Not so much. While headlines in the US may have moved on, many families are still separated and immigrant parents are still detained in more than 200 immigrant prisons and jails in the U.S.

According to recent numbers, more than 4,000 parents and children were separated at the US-Mexico border between May 5, 2018 and June 9, 2018 as part of earlier “no tolerance” policy under the current administration. While efforts to reunite families have begun, thousands of parents and children still face uphill legal battles for reunification and relief.

Continue Reading An Interview with Betty Balli Torres, Pro Bono Net Board of Directors | A Pro Bono Week Exclusive

The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) and Pro Bono Net (PBN) won this year’s ClearMark Award from the Center for Plain Language, for best Spanish-language website.  The winning site,  https://immi.org/es, which was launched shortly after the November 2016 elections, helps immigrants understand their legal options and find legal help.  

Immi is a free online resource, in English and Spanish. It uses accessible language to reach a wide audience.  An estimated 15 to 20% of the 10 to 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. are eligible for legal status.  Immi’s interactive quiz asks questions about family, immigration history, and circumstances to help them identify the options.  The site provides additional plain language articles on immigration law, legal rights, how to get good legal help, and more. It has a directory of over 1,000 nonprofit legal service providers, searchable by location. Most recently, we launched a new “Make a Plan” interview on immi, to help immigrants prepare for the risk of arrest or deportation, and protect their families.

Continue Reading Immi Wins 2018 ClearMark Award for Plain Language

The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is excited to announce its sixth annual fundraising e-Conference, “Cutting Edge Issues in Immigration Law,” from November 27th to December 1st, 2017. Join us for a week-long series of interactive online trainings with national experts on family-based immigration, U visas and VAWA, contesting removability, screening for relief, and oral and written advocacy. We explore the issues through the lens of current events and the latest legal developments.

IAN offers free webinars throughout the year for pro bono lawyers and nonprofit staff.  However, once a year, IAN hosts a fundraising e-Conference, and offers these webinars for a small fee. The e-Conference raises money to support the free online training materials for advocates who represent noncitizens in claims for asylum, changes in immigration status, naturalization and more. Resources include training materials, practice advisories, sample applications and affidavits, government-issued policy memoranda, significant case law, related articles, checklists and links to additional resources.

Join the e-Conference to support IAN and learn about the latest issues and strategies in immigration law.

E-Conference Features

  • Listen to nationally-recognized experts from the comfort of your own office;
  • Participate in “ask the expert” sessions during each interactive training;
  • Access presentations and handouts before the training session;
  • Take interactive quizzes and polls before and during conference sessions;
  • Obtain exclusive access to recorded trainings after the conference; and
  • Support our work

Register

The cost of each two-hour training session is $25. Your support helps IAN offer free trainings and resources throughout the year. For more information and to register, visit: https://www.immigrationadvocates.org/econference/.

Conference Sessions

Monday, November 27th at 2:00 pm at Eastern / 1:00 pm Central / 12:00 pm Mountain / 11:00 am Pacific

Deep Screening for Family-Based Options
This webinar will take a close look at how a family member’s status or circumstances can help your client.

Tuesday, November 28th at 2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Central / 12:00 pm Mountain / 11:00 am Pacific

Emerging Issues and Safety Planning for Survivors
This training will help you work with immigrants survivors of crime, in the current climate of increased enforcement.

Wednesday, November 29th at 2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Central / 12:00 pm Mountain / 11:00 am Pacific

Challenging the Government’s Case in Immigration Court
This webinar will help you examine the Notice to Appear, and evaluate and challenge the sufficiency of the government’s evidence, including criminal allegations.

Thursday, November 30th at 2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Central / 12:00 pm Mountain / 11:00 am Pacific

Screening Far and Wide
This presentation goes beyond the usual screening questions, to identify less common options, older forms of relief, and opportunities based on education or work skills.

Friday, December 1st at 2:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Central / 12:00 pm Mountain / 11:00 am Pacific

Written and Oral Advocacy in Immigration Court and Beyond
This training will help you improve oral and written advocacy with clients, immigration judges, opposing counsel, and immigration officers.

If you are unable to attend a session, but would like to donate to support the Immigration Advocates Network, click here.


The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is a collaborative effort of leading immigrants’ rights organizations designed to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them. IAN promotes more effective and efficient communication, collaboration, and services among immigration advocates and organizations by providing free, easily accessible and comprehensive online resources and tools.

 

Immi - Immigrants legal resourcesAs we enter a new year and a new administration, immigrants and advocates have cause to worry. Last week’s executive orders on immigration signal real action on threats to deport large numbers of immigrants and punish the states and localities that try to protect them, among other draconian measures. Many are asking, “what can I do?” Fortunately, there’s something you can do right now to help immigrants in the U.S. learn about their immigration options, know their rights, and find quality legal help.

Step 1: Visit immi, https://www.immi.org.

Immi is a new online tool, created by the Immigration Advocates Network and Pro Bono Net. Available in English and Spanish, immi allows users to confidentially screen for immigration benefits such as family-based petitions, asylum, or U visas; access information about the law; and find a trusted nonprofit legal service provider. The first free online tool of its kind, immi was created to help as many immigrants as possible know their rights and protect their families.

Step 2: Share immi, https://www.immi.org/share.html!

An estimated 1.5 million undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation may have possible avenues to legal status, but do not know it. By sharing immi you are helping to connect immigrants in your networks with free, confidential, and vital legal information.

 


About The Immigration Advocates NetworkThe Immigration Advocates Network
The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is a collaborative effort of Pro Bono Net and leading immigrants’ rights organizations designed to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them. IAN promotes more effective and efficient communication, collaboration, and services among immigration advocates and organizations by providing free, easily accessible and comprehensive online resources and tools.

 

The Immigration Advocates Network Fifth Annual E-Conference FundraiserThe Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is excited to announce its fifth annual e-conference fundraiser, “Cutting Edge Issues in Immigration Law,” from October 31 to November 4, 2016. Join us for a week-long series of interactive online trainings with national experts on representing children, administrative advocacy, entry & admission, U visas, and provisional waivers. We explore the issues through the lens of current events and the latest legal developments.

IAN offers free webinars throughout the year for pro bono lawyers and nonprofit staff.  However, once a year, IAN hosts an e-Conference Fundraiser, and offers these webinars for a small fee. The e-Conference raises money to support the free online training materials for advocates who represent noncitizens in claims for asylum, changes in immigration status, naturalization and more. Resources include training materials, practice advisories, sample applications and affidavits, government-issued policy memoranda, significant case law, related articles, checklists and links to additional resources.

Join the e-Conference to support IAN and learn about the latest issues and strategies in immigration law.

E-Conference Features 

  • Listen to nationally-recognized experts from the comfort of your own office;
  • Participate in “ask the expert” sessions during each interactive training;
  • Access presentations and handouts before the training session;
  • Take interactive quizzes and polls before and during conference sessions; and
  • Obtain exclusive access to recorded trainings after the conference.

Register

The cost of each two-hour training session is $25. Your support helps IAN offer free trainings and resources throughout the year. For more information and to register, visit https://www.immigrationadvocates.org/econference.


Conference Sessions 

Representing Children in Removal Proceedings
Monday, October 31
This training will discuss legal protections for children in removal proceedings and steps to take if the government breaks those rules. The panel will focus on practice strategies for advocates.

Elevating the Case: Strategies for Helping Clients with USCIS Issues
Tuesday, November 1
This training will cover common issues with DACA and other cases such as processing delays, rejections, requests for evidence, correcting typographical mistakes and agency error. The panel will discuss points of access within USCIS, and how to engage the Ombudsman’s office.

How Entry, Admission, and Parole Affect Your Client’s Case
Wednesday, November 2
This training will review legal concepts of entry, admission, and parole into the United States. The panel will also discuss the practical effects of what happened at the point of entry on a client’s case.

Enhance Your U Visa Practice
Thursday, November 3
This interactive training is a U visa case strategy session, to troubleshoot common U visa issues, including how to frame qualifying crimes, complex inadmissibility issues, and more. Participants are invited to submit U visa scenarios on the registration form so that the webinar can discuss the issues they face in practice.

The Expanded Provisional Waiver Program
Friday, November 4
The panel will explain eligibility for the expanded program, including tips on completing the new I-601A. It will also cover the extreme hardship standard based on draft or finalized agency guidance.

If you are unable to attend a session, but would like to donate to support the Immigration Advocates Network, click here.

 


The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is a collaborative effort of leading immigrants’ rights organizations designed to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them. IAN promotes more effective and efficient communication, collaboration, and services among immigration advocates and organizations by providing free, easily accessible and comprehensive online resources and tools.

The Immigration Advocates Network
Author: Abigail Krusemark, Immigrant Youth Resources Coordinator (AmeriCorps VISTA)

Newly arrived, undocumented Central American children and families face many challenges in the United States: understanding their rights, finding a lawyer, and enrolling children in school, among others. The increase in arrivals has also put pressure on the courts, nonprofit legal and social service providers, and volunteer attorneys. Recent developments, such as the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) adjustment cap, an Associated Press report on the failure of some school districts to enroll immigrant children, the licensing fight over family detention in Texas, and concerns about raids, have compounded the challenges in assisting this population.

The Immigration Advocates Network is the largest network of nonprofit and pro bono immigration advocates in the United States. Do you work for a nonprofit? Represent a client pro bono? You are eligible for membership! On the Immigration Advocates Network you will find resources to help immigrant children:

An advocacy best practices manual for legal service providers from the National Immigrant Justice Center, with guidance on a range of issues including building a program, leveraging pro bono, and working with children.

A practice advisory by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) on how the SIJS visa bulletin works and how to represent your clients facing adjustment delays.

An overview of a child’s right to go to school, regardless of immigration status, and guidance on filing a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), by the Women’s Refugee Commission, Georgetown University Law Center’s Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic & Human Rights Institute.

A Texas state court’s temporary restraining order that blocks Texas from licensing the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, TX as a childcare facility.

Resources from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) on new California state laws protecting immigrant children, which took effect January 1, 2016.

Statistics from FY2016, through 3/31/2016 on apprehensions of unaccompanied children at the southwest border.



Unaccompanied Children Resource CenterUCRC
Our UAC Resource Center offers training and information for volunteer lawyers, as well as plain language resources for immigrants, including a new section on “Adults with Children” at http://www.uacresources.org.

The Immigration Advocates Network is currently looking for an Immigrant Youth Resources Coordinator (AmeriCorps VISTA). Find us on Idealist.org:
http://www.idealist.org/view/job/WbJPMc2p4fsP/

There are approximately 5.2 million undocumented women living in and contributing to the United States, many of whom may qualify for immigration relief now or in the near future. The Migration Policy Institute predicts that women may be more likely to be eligible for DAPA, and many women who are crime victims or survivors of abuse and gender-based violence may already qualify for immigration benefits. However, many immigrant women continue to face significant barriers to accessing vital information and legal services related their immigration options.

Step ForwardToday, We Belong Together and the Immigration Advocates
Network (IAN), in partnership with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Pro Bono Net, and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, will launch Step Forward (www.womenstepforward.org), a new mobile accessible website for immigrant women and their families that provides tools, trusted resources, and the latest information needed to understand their immigration options and rights.

The story of Adriana Cazorla, a domestic worker living in Washington state, is a powerful example of
how access to legal status can make all the difference in helping immigrant women escape constant fear and control at the hands of their abusers:

“Before, I didn’t think that I had any rights because I was undocumented. For twelve years my ex-
husband abused me. He told me that if I called the police for help he would report me to immigration. Every day that I left to go to work I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to come home to my children. I didn’t know there were programs that could help women like me until I finally met a social worker who told me about VAWA. My children and I are safe now, but we will always be scarred by those twelve years of abuse and fear of deportation.”

Adriana CazorlaAt a time of increased vitriol against immigrants and confusion about the status of new immigration programs like DAPA, it’s vital that immigrant communities have ready access to plain language legal information and referrals to quality legal assistance. Step Forward‘s unique approach to both legal empowerment and mobilizing immigrant women represents a critical step in the fight against abuse, fraud and misinformation.

Step Forward allows immigrant women to take the first step towards understanding their immigration options and rights, including:

  • An online self-screening tool to help undocumented women assess whether they might qualify for various forms of immigration relief;
  • Trusted referrals to nonprofit legal service providers so individuals can access help and avoid fraud or misinformation;
  • Latest news and updates on Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA);
  • Information on what to do in case of immigration raids or other encounters with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE);
  • Know your rights information for immigrant workers; and
  • Resources for crime victims and survivors of abuse.

Please take a moment today to amplify this work, and the voices of immigrant women, by sharing this resource widely.


Immigration Advocates NetworkMatthew Burnett is director of the Immigration Advocates Network, a collaborative effort of leading immigrants’ rights organizations and Pro Bono Net, designed to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them.

 

Author: Abigail Krusemark, Immigrant Youth Resources Coordinator (AmeriCorps VISTA), Immigration Advocates Network

Over 100,000 unaccompanied children (UACs) have crossed the United States’ southern border since October of 2013. With more than half of these cases still pending in the nation’s immigration courts and nearly 70% of children unrepresented, the need for pro bono is great. The Unaccompanied Children Resource Center responds to this need by offering free legal resources and highlighting volunteer opportunities for advocates and attorneys.screen shot

In some cities, local service providers are collaborating to meet the legal needs of UAC. The UAC website has the latest information on collaborations and volunteer opportunities in Baltimore, New York, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and San Francisco. For each city there is a description and the volunteer coordinator’s contact information. Write-ups for children describe, in simple language, the services these collaborations offer and how to find the organizations at the court. These write-ups simplify the often-confusing court process.

These collaborations use different models of screening, referral, and representation, but most operate out of the court, cover a particular docket or dockets, rotate attorneys of the day, screen children for relief, and refer cases. These collaborations are made possible by attorneys and non-legal professionals who volunteer their time to greet families, conduct intake, translate, and more. Volunteer mentoring is often available.

Find a volunteer opportunity with a collaboration under “Regional Efforts” on the home page, locate a lawyer and resources for clients under “Do you Need Legal Help?”, and learn from practice advisories, webinars, and more under “Are you an Attorney that can help?.”

Do you want to feature your regional collaboration? E-mail akrusemark@immigrationadvocates.org


 

The Unaccompanied Children Resource Center offers free legal resources and information for advocates and immigrants. This website is a project of the Immigration Advocates Network, American Bar Association, and Pro Bono Net. It includes resources developed by our partners and other immigrants’ rights advocates.

 

probonoFor other pro bono opportunites visit Pro Bono Net’s National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide, an online, easy-to-use, searchable directory of of over 1,400 programs providing pro bono opportunities across the country available through probono.net, the flagship site and namesake of Pro Bono Net

Author: Abigail Krusemark, Immigrant Youth Resources Coordinator (AmeriCorps VISTA), Immigration Advocates Network

The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is excited to announce its fourth annual e-conference fundraiser, “Cutting Edge Issues in Immigration Law,” from November 2 to November 6, 2015. In honor of National Celebrate Pro Bono Week, we are spotlighting one of our expert panelists for this year’s e-conference, Fried Frank’s Karen Grisez.
Karen Grisez, Special Counsel, Public Service Counsel Litigation
Karen Grisez, Special Counsel

 

Karen T. Grisez is a member of the Litigation Department and is resident in Fried Frank’s Washington, DC office. In her role as Public Service Counsel, Ms. Grisez manages the intake and placement of pro bono matters, acts as liaison to national and local bar associations and legal services providers and provides substantive advice and assistance to other attorneys who are working on pro bono cases. She has experience with issues of political asylum and other immigration matters, veterans’ benefits, family law, landlord/tenant law and general civil litigation.

 

Karen Grisez celebrates National Pro Bono Week all year long in her role as Public Service Counsel for the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. The upcoming celebration (October 25 – 31) and the Immigration Advocates e-Conference (November 2 – 6) provide an opportunity to recognize those in our community who approach pro bono in traditional and nontraditional ways. In addition to managing a pro bono caseload, Karen engages in advocacy and education to support access to justice. In this capacity, she regularly joins the Immigration Advocates Network as an expert panelist.

Karen started at Fried Frank in part because of its strong pro bono program. She worked as a Litigation Associate for six years, when Fried Frank agreed to her proposal to create a full time Public Service Counsel position. Today, her colleagues benefit from Karen’s training and supervision on pro bono projects and her extensive advocacy experience. In addition, Karen mentors the wider community of pro bono and nonprofit lawyers in the American Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Immigration Advocates Network.

During the first week of November Karen joins the Immigration Advocates Network  e-Conference, on the panel of “Improving Your Appeal to the BIA.” According to Karen, webinars are “a highly efficient way of introducing a lot of lawyers to this practice area and getting them to volunteer for cases.” She notes that “an unrepresented respondent, almost always very limited in English and lacking legal training, sometimes also with the impediments that go with being detained, has virtually no chance of writing an adequate brief to the Board on appeal.”

We hope that you will join Karen and the Immigration Advocates Network for Celebrate Pro Bono Week by signing up for an e-Conference session. Your support helps us provide free resources to pro bono attorneys at the Pro Bono Resource Center.

Fried Frank has a genuine commitment to pro bono work and a strong sense of philanthropic responsibility.  Illustrated not by our words but by our work, we go well beyond the base requirements to develop and nurture strong ties with our local communities.

 


The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is excited to announce its fourth annual e-conference fundraiser, “Cutting Edge Issues in Immigration Law,” from November 2 to November 6, 2015. Join us for a week-long series of interactive online trainings with national experts on BIA Appeals, U Visas & VAWA, entry & admission, prosecutorial discretion, and working with clients who have diminished capacity. We explore the issues through the lens of current events and the latest legal developments.
IAN logo
E-Conference Features

  • Listen to nationally-recognized experts from the comfort of your own office;
  • Participate in “ask the expert” sessions during each interactive training;
  • Access presentations and handouts before the training session;
  • Take interactive quizzes and polls before and during conference sessions; and
  • Obtain exclusive access to recorded trainings after the conference.

To Register:

The cost of each two-hour training session is $25. Your support helps IAN offer free trainings and resources throughout the year. For more information and to register, visit http://www.immigrationadvocates.org/econference.

 

 

The UnUCRCaccompanied Children Resource Center launched in early 2015 as a joint project of the Immigration Advocates Network and the American Bar Association. The new website responds to the crisis of unaccompanied immigrant minors in immigration court proceedings. They are leaving their homes for many reasons: to escape abuse, discrimination, gender-based violence, poverty, trafficking, or other desperate situations. Some may qualify to stay in the United States, but the laws and processes are complicated. In FY 2014 almost 70,000 children from Mexico and Central America crossed the United States’ southern border; a 77% increase from the previous year. Many of these immigrant minors do not have access to a lawyer, and the government is not mandated to provide one. Many children—toddlers through teenagers—arrive at court alone, and insufficient knowledge of their legal options is a barrier that often leads to deportation.

The site shares trusted legal information and referrals with advocates, children, and their guardians. Features include a legal directory where children can search for organizations providing pro bono services, as well as a number of plain-language Spanish and English documents on what to expect in immigration court, how to work with a lawyer, how to enroll in school, and more. The site also serves as a resource for lawyers new to immigration court; lawyers can access practice advisories and manuals and connect with organizations to volunteer with children.

The process by which unaccompanied children access services in the U.S. differs across city and immigration court jurisdiction. In Minnesota, volunteer attorneys coordinated by three major service providers gather at the Fort Snelling Court on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for case screening interviews for the unaccompanied children’s docket. In the coming months, the UAC site will expand information about collaborative efforts, such as this one, to explain how children access services in different cities and how volunteers can join the effort.

Visit the site at uacresources.org

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