Frequently Asked Questions
Below, please find answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions.
- About the Campaign
- About Immigration Detention
- About our Volunteer Opportunities
- About Proyecto Dilley (formerly the Dilley Pro Bono Project)
About the Campaign
Why am I unable to submit the registration form?
Please make sure you’ve entered as much information as possible. A “Create Account” button will appear once you’ve filled out all the required fields.
Why can’t I access your training materials?
The majority of our training resources are available to users who have registered on our website by creating an account. Some training resources are reserved for volunteers actively working on pro bono matters with the Justice Campaign. If you are working on a pro bono matter and are still having trouble accessing our resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To view and apply for volunteer opportunities that fit your skills, interests, and availability please visit our Current Volunteer Opportunities Available page. Note that you will need to be logged into your account in order to view specific opportunities.
I’m in need of legal assistance for myself or someone I know. Can you help me?
We regret that the Immigration Justice Campaign is unable to assist with individual cases. You can search for a private attorney through the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s attorney database at http://www.ailalawyer.org/. In addition, the Immigration Advocates Network has this helpful directory of free or low-cost legal service providers at https://www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory/.
How can I donate to the Immigration Justice Campaign?
You can make a tax-deductible donation to the Immigration Justice Campaign on our Donation page.
Does the Justice Campaign offer internships?
The Immigration Justice Campaign does not currently have openings for internships, but please continue to check back on our Jobs page.
About Immigration Detention
Where can I find more information about the U.S. immigration system and/or immigration detention?
The Justice Campaign has put together resources on our website. After logging in, navigate to the Get Trained tab. The American Immigration Council publishes helpful fact sheets, blogs, and reports on all things immigration, which you can find at www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org.
About our Volunteer Opportunities
Where can I find your volunteer opportunities?
You can view and apply for any of our available volunteer opportunities on our Current Volunteer Opportunities page. Please note that you will need to be logged into your account in order to view and apply for specific opportunities.
Which volunteer opportunities allow for remote work?
Currently, volunteers who wish to work completely remotely can join the Remote Bond Team or sign up to do Remote Interpretation and/ or Translation. Please stay tuned for other remote opportunities that arise from time to time, such as legal writing assignments and parole applications.
I am not an attorney. What can I do to help?
We are also always in need of Licensed Clinical Social Workers to spend a week on-the-ground in Dilley. You can apply on our Proyecto Dilley page.
You can also support the Campaign by making a tax-deductible donation on our Donation page.
In the future, we hope to be able to provide opportunities for paralegals, law students, and others to get involved so please continue to check our Current Volunteer Opportunities page. Please note that you will need to be logged into your account in order to view and apply for specific opportunities.
Do I need malpractice insurance to volunteer?
Many of our local partners (but not all) are able to provide malpractice insurance coverage for their attorney volunteers. You can learn about coverage offered at each site on our Types of Volunteer Opportunities page.
I’m not barred in a state where you work. Can I still volunteer?
Yes! To the extent you need to enter an appearance in a specific case, appearing as an attorney in immigration court only requires an attorney to be licensed and in good standing with the bar of any U.S. state, territory, or possession.
Do you offer any stipends for volunteers?
Unfortunately, the Justice Campaign is currently unable to cover expenses incurred during the course of volunteering.
Can attorneys with inactive bar membership participate?
Attorneys must be an active member of a state bar and in good standing in order to take on individual cases. However, attorneys with inactive bar memberships can still volunteer on-the-ground at Dilley in the capacity of “Legal Assistant” or sign-up to interpret if they are bilingual.
How long is the typical commitment for your volunteer opportunities?
That depends on the opportunity! While the commitment varies on a case-by-case basis, in general, volunteer opportunities take the following amount of time:
|Type of Volunteer Opportunity||Length of Commitment|
|Working on the ground at a detention center||1 week|
|Remote or in-person bond representation||3 weeks|
|Country conditions research for pro se asylum seekers||2-4 weeks|
|Prepare parole requests to seek release for detained asylum seekers||1-2 months (2 weeks to prepare the packet and up to 2 months of follow-up with deportation officer)|
|Full representation of noncitizen in removal proceedings (merits cases)||3-4 months|
|Remote interpretation assistance for remote bond team||3 weeks after being paired with attorney|
|Remote interpretation assistance for Proyecto Dilley||Scheduled shifts of a few hours at a time for as long as needed|
About Proyecto Dilley (formerly the Dilley Pro Bono Project)
What kind of work will I do?
Volunteers perform a wide variety of tasks that range from data entry and document scanning to representing clients in immigration court hearings. Most of our volunteer work consists of giving know-your-rights presentations and preparing clients for their credible fear interviews with an asylum officer. Prospective volunteers should note that needs on-the-ground can change rapidly, and so it is important to be flexible and be ready to take on different types of work. We ask that volunteers be willing to step outside their comfort zone and dedicate themselves to a challenging, but life-changing, week.
I do not speak Spanish. Can I still volunteer on-the-ground?
Most of the women and children the government detains at the South Texas Family Residential Center are Spanish speakers. Therefore, if you do not speak Spanish, you are eligible to volunteer only if you can provide your own Spanish language interpretation. This could mean inviting a Spanish-speaking friend or colleague to accompany you, or to be available to interpret by phone for various blocks of time throughout the week. It seems that volunteers have had good luck when they are creative about the networks they use. You may consider reaching out to family, friends, colleagues, your congregation, or social media connections!
Are there any Volunteer Restrictions?
All volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Non-U.S. Citizens must be able to demonstrate lawful immigration status. Certain non-immigrant visitors on J, A, and B1/B2 visas are not eligible to volunteer. DACA holders are also no longer permitted to volunteer.
While not a restriction, volunteers with medical conditions should consult with their physician about any safety concerns of entering a detention facility. You could be exposed to certain communicable diseases. Volunteers can only bring in a day’s worth of medicine and there is no way to refrigerate it once insider the jail.
What is the financial and time commitment?
All volunteers must self-fund their trip. We have created an estimated budget for a week on the ground in Dilley. Many volunteers host fundraisers in their community to travel to Dilley.
While the on-the-ground team will provide guidance throughout the week in real time, the typical work schedule is as follows:
- Volunteers attend an in-person orientation in Dilley on Sunday at 5pm CT. Please make your travel arrangements with that time in mind.
- Volunteers work Monday-Friday from about 7:30am to 7 or 8pm with a break for lunch from 12-1pm. Please note that things on the ground can change rapidly, so these hours are an estimate.
- We hold two additional Big Table volunteer meetings on Monday and Thursday nights from 8:15 to about 9:30pm.
We ask that volunteers book their return flights for the Saturday following the work week to ensure their ability to complete a full day of work on Friday (possibly up to 8pm). Most volunteers fly into San Antonio and then make the 1.5-hour trip in rental cars to Dilley. There is no public transportation. Once you are confirmed to volunteer, you will receive additional trip and logistics planning information.
I’ve applied! When should I make my travel arrangements?
Please do not make travel arrangements until a member of our staff confirms the dates for your volunteer week. You will receive an email from a team member when your dates are confirmed.
Proyecto DilleySix Proyecto Dilley volunteers report from their week on-the-ground with the Proyecto Dilley Pro Bono Project
Contact UsHave a question about volunteering? Need help?
The American Immigration Council warns non-citizens to guard against spoofing phone calls from ill-intended individuals seeking to create panic among our immigrant community. To learn more, please go to scam.immigrationcouncil.org.