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  • Monday, December 31, 2018 1:28 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

  • Wednesday, December 12, 2018 4:09 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    This fall, the DHBA recruited volunteers to provide free legal services for immigrants detained in the Karnes immigration detention center near San Antonio. The following is a firsthand report from immigration attorney Amy Hsu on her experience volunteering last week.

    At the beginning of December I spent a week volunteering at the Karnes County Residential Center through RAICES, where ICE is holding hundreds of fathers and their minor sons fleeing from Central America. Our volunteer group included myself, Gerardo Villegas (another attorney from Dallas), two attorneys from New York, a paralegal from Colorado, a social worker from New York, and a child therapist from Boston.

    We spoke to the fathers, and sometimes the sons, to prepare them for their credible fear interviews, the first hurdle in the process to apply for asylum. Most of them had never been in contact in with an attorney before and only had a very limited understanding of the asylum process. They would have been completely unprepared for their interviews if we hadn't been there. Sometimes we would help RAICES with intake interviews as well. The day started around 9 am and didn't end until visitor hours ended at 8 pm. It was a very intense but very rewarding experience. Everyone that I spoke with was very grateful for the advice and assistance.

    At the end of the week all the volunteers agreed that we would do it all again. One of the other volunteers is already looking to volunteer again. The RAICES staff is incredibly dedicated to providing access to legal services for as many people as possible, and it was a privilege to work with them. DHBA was kind enough to provide a stipend to cover travel and lodging expenses.

  • Thursday, November 08, 2018 2:44 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision requiring the Trump administration to continue accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The government is likely to appeal to the Supreme Court.

    News coverage of the decision:

  • Friday, October 19, 2018 9:12 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    In his remarks at Noche de Luz last month, Judge Clay Jenkins mentioned the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed “public charge” rule. This rule would penalize the permanent residency and visa applications of immigrants who receive an expanded range of public benefits, including Medicaid, food stamps, and Section 8 housing.

    The DHS has now published the public charge rule in the Federal Register. Through December 10, the public can comment on the proposed rule online. The only personal information required is a first and last name, and submitting comments on behalf of a third party is permissible.

    The Washington Post has further coverage of the public charge rule. The Center for Public Policy Priorities has published a fact sheet explaining its opposition to the rule.

  • Friday, October 19, 2018 8:41 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)


    DHBA is seeking 3-5 bilingual volunteer attorneys to volunteer at the Karnes immigration detention center the week of December 3rd-7th (with the option to stay and continue volunteering Saturday the 8th).

    The Karnes Pro Bono Project provides free legal services to immigrants detained in the Karnes Detention Center - most are families fleeing violence in Central America. The detained parents and children are forced to pass a credible fear interview before they can be released from detention to pursue asylum. The failure to pass the interview can lead to deportation, which means a return to danger and even death.

    At this time, the Karnes Pro Bono Project is serving fathers and their sons. These families are often traumatized and untrusting, and volunteers must be able to quickly build positive bonds. The legal environment is fast-paced and needs are always changing, but volunteers will likely assist with legal research, holding intake meetings with clients, preparing clients for credible fear interviews, providing legal advice to families regarding release from the detention center, drafting declarations for asylum cases, representing clients during their credible fear interviews (telephonically or in person), and possibly representing families in hearings before the Immigration Court.

    The detention center is staffed Monday through Saturday from 10am-8pm. RAICES will hold an orientation phone call for both legal training and a discussion of the logistics of volunteering on November 28th from 3pm-6pm.  RAICES does provide support on the ground, but the volume of clients if very high and volunteers should be prepared to be flexible, patient, and work as independently as possible.

    Volunteers are typically responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses. RAICES recommends that volunteers stay near their San Antonio office. However, DHBA may be able to financially assist attorneys who would not otherwise be able to volunteer with some of the expenses. 

    Please contact Patricia Freshwater if you are interested in this volunteer opportunity at freshwater@dfwvisa.comDHBA must finalize the volunteer list prior to November 16, 2018.

    For more information on the Karnes Pro Bono Project, please see here.

  • Friday, August 24, 2018 8:08 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    Event flyer (PDF)

    The City of Dallas is holding a MyDallas Citizenship Workshop on October 13 at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library.

    The workshop needs volunteers to help with the citizenship application process. Interested in helping? Contact: (214) 671-5087.

    A 90-minute volunteer training course will be held at the following dates and times. Volunteers only need to attend one training session.

    • Thursday, September 6, from 6pm-8pm
    • Saturday, September 8, from 10am-12pm
    • Thursday, September 20, from 6pm-8pm
    • Saturday, September 22, from 10am-12pm
    • Thursday, October 4, from 6pm-8pm
    • Saturday, October 6, from 10am-12pm

  • Saturday, August 04, 2018 5:25 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    On Friday, August 3, a D.C. federal judge ordered the Trump administration to restart the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The order is delayed to allow the government to appeal.

    News coverage of the decision:

  • Tuesday, July 24, 2018 6:56 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)

    The July 21 CLE, Legal Remedies as a Response to the Border Crisis, is now available as a webinar for viewing at your convenience here.

    CLE slides (PDF)
    CLE Handout - Current cases pending as of 07/19/18 (PDF)

    CLE credit information:

    This recording is accredited in Texas, New York, and California.  Attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions will be provided with a Uniform Certificate of Attendance upon request for use in seeking individual credit.  To receive CLE credit, please email Catherine Dunbar at the conclusion of the video with your state license information (bar/registration number).  If you are licensed in New York, you will also need to provide the code words spoken in each segment of the presentation (four code words).

    Original event flyer:

  • Monday, July 02, 2018 7:48 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)


    The Dallas Hispanic Bar Association continues to strongly condemn the Trump Administration’s separation and detention of more than 2,000 children seeking entry into the U.S. along our southern border. Our members have responded to this alarming and unacceptable injustice with compassion, seeking ways in which volunteer attorneys can assist immigrants and their children. The DHBA issues this list of volunteer opportunities, both here in the DFW area and near the border, to assist members who are seeking to help.

    DFW Area Volunteer Opportunities

    Our local non-profit immigration legal services providers have been assisting immigrant families and unaccompanied children seeking protection from harm for many years. Please consider volunteering your time or your resources locally.

    • Human Rights Initiative provides legal and support services to refugees and immigrants who have suffered human rights abuses. This includes representing immigrants in applications for asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, U visas, and VAWA. HRI also serves a local shelter for unaccompanied minors, where the agency has already seen children separated from their parents. Volunteers (particularly bilingual individuals) are needed to assist with administrative and translation work, and to accept pro bono cases for vulnerable clients, particularly children. Please contact Layne Faulkner at
    • RAICES provides free and low cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas. The organization has also recently created a National Families Together Hotline to assist families who have been separated in reuniting. The local office needs volunteers, particularly bilingual volunteers, to staff regularly held asylum clinics. Additionally, the local office needs volunteers to assist with the cases of parents and children who have been released at the border and relocated to the Dallas area. Attorneys can take a case pro bono or assist with research or briefing for ongoing RAICES cases. RAICES also has volunteer opportunities with its south Texas offices, which serve the family immigration detention facilities at Karnes and Dilley. Please call 214-295-9554.
    • Catholic Charities provides free and low cost legal services to immigrants in need of legal representation in wide range of immigration matters. Catholic Charities is currently seeking both non-immigration attorneys (once trained) and immigration attorneys to accept pro bono, limited representation of immigrant detainees in Custody and Bond Redetermination applications. For attorneys with immigration experience, Catholic Charities is also seeking volunteers to accept pro bono cases for removal defense, particularly asylum, in the Dallas Immigration Court.  Please contact Lacy de la Garza at

    Additional Volunteer Opportunities

    The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking Spanish-speaking attorneys to represent immigrant families at risk of deportation, primarily in South Texas. The Mexican American Legislative Caucus is organizing pro bono attorneys to volunteer with this organization. Potential volunteers can register here.

    The Texas State bar has compiled an excellent list of opportunities for volunteer attorneys in Texas, including several opportunities for attorneys who are able to travel to the border to provide services to immigrant families and unaccompanied children.

    Suggested Organizations for Donations

    Many attorneys may want to help, but have limited time. Please consider supporting our immigration non-profit organizations in the vital work that they do every day on behalf of vulnerable children and families.

  • Tuesday, June 19, 2018 2:30 PM | Matthew Phillips (Administrator)


    June 19, 2018
    Contact: Isaac Faz

    Since implementing the Zero Tolerance policy, the Trump Administration’s Department of Homeland Security has separated and detained more than 2,000 children seeking entry into the U.S. along our southern border. We are concerned with the alarming and unacceptable injustice under which children are being forcefully separated from their parents.

    We urge the Trump Administration to rescind its Zero Tolerance policy and implement a more humane and compassionate way to address the children and families seeking asylum in our country.

    “When immigrants, including children, arrived at Ellis Island, they saw the Statue of Liberty. Today, these children are seeing cages, guns, and concrete walls. This is not the way we should receive the vulnerable seeking our help or portray ourselves to the world,” stated Isaac Faz, President of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association. “Additionally, we seek transparency. We ask the administration to allow the press and civic groups to take video and photos of the events within these facilities.”

    The DHBA further calls upon all elected officials and representatives to support clean legislation that would bring an immediate end to this humanitarian crisis. Our nation was built on the back of immigrants, and from its inception to today, immigrants contribute to our society in meaningful ways. It’s time to reunite families and restore the values that made this country great.

    The Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA) is the largest Hispanic Bar association in North Texas and affiliated with the Dallas Bar Association. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization with the goal to promote the social, economic, educational, and civic advancement of the DFW Metroplex Hispanic community by making the legal system more accessible to the Hispanic community and more responsive to its needs.

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