How We Work
The Immigration Justice Campaign is a nationwide initiative seeking to increase access to counsel for thousands of immigrants held in detention centers who need pro bono representation.
Identifying Opportunities to Help
The Justice Campaign partners with legal service providers and pro bono representation projects that have a constant presence in immigration detention centers across the country. These organizations conduct expert screenings and identify individuals who are eligible for immigration relief, such as asylum, and who need pro bono assistance.
We then work with our partners to communicate the volunteer opportunities to our nationwide network of committed volunteers.
Supporting Volunteers Who Take Cases
The Immigration Justice Campaign supports its volunteers by providing access to an online library of training materials and toolkits that is tailored specifically to lawyers who are new to immigration court and immigration detention.
Working with AILA, leading non-profit organizations, and individual practitioners nationwide, the Justice Campaign has gathered highly-curated, top-of-the-line materials designed to provide step-by-step guidance to volunteers, including:
- An introductory guide to immigration court practice and procedure;
- Introductory level webinars and presentations;
- Key excerpts of leading treatises, sample case files and exemplars, templates, as well as more advanced articles and practice pointers; and
- In-person and online trainings.
For access to our full range of educational resources, register to join the Justice Campaign and sign up to help someone in urgent need of legal help.
Group Mentorship Program
The Immigration Justice Campaign is piloting a first-of-its-kind group mentorship program to harness the expertise of the AILA community to assist pro bono attorneys who are new to removal defense. Volunteers can join a group mentorship circle with other attorneys handling similar cases. Groups hold conference calls every 2-3 weeks led by an AILA attorney experienced in removal defense. Volunteer attorneys give brief updates on their cases, receive guidance from the group mentor, and learn from the other attorneys’ experiences. Before any merits hearings, the mentor will meet with each pro bono attorney team one-on-one to prepare the case.
Once volunteers take on an immigration case through the Justice Campaign, he or she will have access not only to a mentor, but also to a dedicated, full-time Senior Technical Assistance Attorney, who is a seasoned removal defense practitioner.
We also work with leading immigration non-profit organizations to provide technical assistance to volunteers on specific topics. Our partners include:
- Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (UC Hastings School of Law)
- National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers’ Guild
The Justice Campaign also advocates for changes in law and policy by documenting systemic challenges that detained immigrants encounter as they fight to seek protection. We look to volunteers to help identify the many due process challenges their clients face while in detention, such as prolonged detention, inadequate access to language interpretation services, and changes in court practices, among others.
To work to create a better, more humane system for the most vulnerable people in our immigration system, we invite volunteers to complete an Advocacy Questionnaire after they complete their volunteer experience.
We also highlight the vital work of pro bono volunteers and underscore the dire need for legal representation in detention centers across the country through engagement with the media. The Justice Campaign amplifies the successes achieved and the challenges faced by volunteers’ clients.
Volunteers are encouraged to write opinion pieces and blog posts (such as this article on Think Immigration), and may also have opportunities to work directly with press.
Contact UsHave a question about volunteering? Need help?
Denver Contract Detention Facility
3130 Oakland St
Aurora, CO 80010
Phone Number: (303) 361-6612
South Texas Family Residential Center
Dilley, TX 78017
Phone Number: (830) 378-6500
Stewart Detention Center
146 Cca Rd
Lumpkin, GA 31815
Phone Number: (229) 838-5000
Elizabeth Detention Center
625 Evans St
Elizabeth, NJ 7201
Phone Number: (908) 352-3776
El Paso, TX
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.