Karnes Pro Bono Project - Volunteers Needed

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.

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