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Immigration Justice Campaign Text Logo
An initiative of:
AIC
AILA
AIRP

Types of Volunteer Opportunities

The Immigration Justice Campaign offers several different types of volunteer opportunities that require varying levels of experience and a variety of skill sets. See below for more details about each opportunity. If you are interested in volunteering with the Justice Campaign, please visit our Current Volunteer Opportunities page to apply for any opportunities that fit your skills, interests, and availability. *Note: Please only complete one application.


Prepare Parole Requests to Seek Release for Detained Asylum Seekers

Detained immigrants may be eligible to request that ICE release them on “parole” while their cases are pending in immigration court. Parole requests are filed with ICE and consist of a letter with supporting documentation.
Location Fully remote
Hours and Duration 10-15 hours to prepare parole request and up to 2 months of phone and email follow-up with deportation officer.
Types of Volunteers Needed Attorneys
Volunteer Role Represent a detained immigrant by preparing a request for release on parole with supporting documentation, submit the parole request to the individual’s deportation officer, and then continue to follow-up with the deportation officer to make sure the release request is decided.
Interpretation Volunteers are encouraged to secure their own interpreters. In some circumstances, the Justice Campaign may be able to arrange for a volunteer interpreter to work with you.
Malpractice Coverage Generally available through Immigration Justice Campaign’s referring partner agencies, with some exceptions.

Represent Immigrants Seeking Release on Bond

Many detained immigrants are eligible for release on bond while their cases are pending in immigration court. Government authorities often detain them in remote facilities far from available lawyers, especially near the southern border. Attorney volunteers who take on remote bond cases will communicate with their clients by phone, prepare motions to appear telephonically before the immigration court as well as a bond motion (with supporting documentation), and argue the bond motions before the immigration judge over the phone.
Locations Fully remote
Hours and Duration 25-50 hours over 2-4 weeks
Types of Volunteers Needed Attorneys
Volunteer Role Represent a detained immigrant in seeking release on bond pending their immigration court proceedings. Speak with your client by phone to gather information needed to draft a motion for release on bond. Note that communicating with a detained asylum seeker will often require some degree of persistence due to access to counsel barriers. Gather documentation in support of the bond motion by collecting statements of the detainee’s friends and family members and/or other documentation. Draft the bond motion as well as the motion to appear telephonically before the immigration court and file those motions. Prepare your client for the hearing and argue the motion in immigration court.
Interpretation/Translation Volunteers are encouraged to secure their own interpreters. In some circumstances, the Justice Campaign may be able to arrange for a volunteer interpreter to work with you.
Malpractice Coverage Generally available through Immigration Justice Campaign’s referring local partner organizations, with some exceptions.

Represent an Asylum Seeker in their Deportation Proceedings

Detained asylum seekers must present their claims for asylum before an immigration judge at a full hearing in immigration court. This is their request for relief from deportation. Asylum hearings are adversarial in nature and require presenting detailed oral testimony by the asylum applicant plus evidentiary submissions.
Locations Across partner sites
*Note: Due to COVID-19, all cases are currently fully remote. This includes meeting with the client and court appearances. Client communication is either via telephone or via video-visits, like Skype. Should a client have a case in a court that is not automatically granting telephonic appearances, we will make that clear before asking a volunteer to take a case.
Hours and Duration 75-125 hours over 3-4 months, depending on the experience of the volunteer and the complexity of the case
Types of Volunteers Needed Attorneys
Volunteer Role Represent a detained asylum seeker in their asylum merits case. Meet with your client at the facility to understand their story and fear of persecution in their country of origin. (This work can be done remotely at some sites.) Assist client in preparing and filing asylum application and supporting documentation, including corroborating evidence and information about the conditions in their country of origin. Appear at final adversarial merits hearing before immigration judge and assist in presenting your client’s testimony and evidence in support of asylum.
Interpretation/Translation Volunteers are encouraged to secure their own interpreters. In some circumstances, the Justice Campaign may be able to arrange for a volunteer interpreter to work with you.
Malpractice Coverage Generally available through Immigration Justice Campaign’s referring partner agencies, with some exceptions.

Represent An Asylum Seeker in their Board of Immigration Appeals Case

If a detained asylum seeker loses his or her case before the Immigration Judge, they have an opportunity to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Oral argument is not required—decisions are issued based on the record and appeal briefs. This is a fully remote volunteer opportunity.
Locations Fully remote
Hours and Duration 25-50 hours over the course of several months

  • After the Notice of Appeal form is filed, it takes 4-8 weeks for the BIA to issue a briefing schedule.
  • You are given 21 days to submit the brief
  • It may take the BIA several months to issue a decision
Types of Volunteers Needed Attorneys
Volunteer Role Represent a detained asylum seeker in their appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Volunteers will need to review the record of proceedings and transcript for their client’s case. Volunteers will be expected to timely submit an appeal brief according to the schedule subsequently assigned by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Interpretation/Translation Volunteers are encouraged to secure their own interpreters. In some circumstances, the Justice Campaign may be able to arrange for a volunteer interpreter to work with you.
Malpractice Coverage Generally available through Immigration Justice Campaign’s referring partner agencies, with some exceptions.

Represent an Immigrant in their Deportation Proceedings

Detained individuals who have resided long-term in the U.S. or currently hold permanent resident status may present an application for “Cancellation of Removal” before an immigration judge at a full hearing in immigration court. If granted, they are permitted to remain in the U.S. as lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders) with their family and community. Cancellation of removal hearings are adversarial in nature and require presenting detailed oral testimony by the applicant plus evidentiary submissions.
Locations Across partner sites
*Note: Due to COVID-19, all cases are currently fully remote. This includes meeting with the client and court appearances. Client communication is either via telephone or via video-visits, like Skype. Should a client have a case in a court that is not automatically granting telephonic appearances, we will make that clear before asking a volunteer to take a case.
Hours and Duration 100-150 hours over 3-4 months
Types of Volunteers Needed Attorneys
Volunteer Role Represent a detained immigrant in their Cancellation of Removal case. Work with client to prepare and file a Cancellation application and supporting documentation, including corroborating evidence, evidence of U.S. community and family ties, and information about the conditions in the country of origin. Appear at final adversarial merits hearing before immigration judge and assist in presenting your client’s testimony and evidence in support of their case.
Interpretation/Translation Volunteers are encouraged to secure their own interpreters. In some circumstances, the Justice Campaign may be able to arrange for a volunteer interpreter to work with you.
Malpractice Coverage Generally available through Immigration Justice Campaign’s referring partner agencies, with some exceptions.

Provide Interpretation/Translation Services

For a variety of our opportunities above, assist in the provision of legal services by providing in-person or telephonic interpretation for volunteer attorneys or provide English translation of documents.
Locations Across partner sites
Hours and Duration
  • Remote Bond Team - 10-15 hours for 2-3 weeks after being paired with attorney in need of interpretation assistance.
  • Other opportunities can vary widely depending on your availability. Some translations can be done in 30 minutes and some will take 10 hours. Some volunteers can offer an hour or two of telephonic interpretation while some prefer to sign on for an entire bond or merits case, working with the same pro bono attorney and client throughout the process. In person interpretation also includes travel time to the detention center and the wait time once you have arrived.
Types of Volunteers Needed Interpreters/Translators
(No professional certificates are required. We only need to know that you are fully bilingual and have a letter of recommendation.)
Volunteer Role
  • Remote Bond Team: Provide interpretation assistance over the phone for attorneys working on remote bond representation. Phone calls would be with the detainee seeking release on bond and/or with other individuals (e.g., friends or family members) providing statements in support of the bond application. Potentially provide written translation of documents for attorneys.
  • Dilley, TX – Remote Telephonic Interpretation: Provide interpretation assistance for volunteers working at the South Texas Family Residential Center who are assisting mothers and children fleeing violence in their countries of origin. Interpreters are needed during meetings to prepare mothers for their credible fear interviews before the asylum office. For more information on language needs, please contact volunteer@caraprobono.org.
  • Partner Sites: Provide interpretation in-person and/or by phone for attorneys working on bond or merits cases.
  • Translations are needed for case work at all sites. There is a specific Certificate of Translation that is required from the Immigration Courts.

Provide a Mental Health Evaluation

Perform a telephonic or in-person psychological evaluation for an immigrant detainee. Write up the evaluation into the form of an expert declaration, which will then be submitted to either an immigration court or government agency to support some form of relief for the detainee.
Locations Across partner sites
Types of Volunteers Needed Mental health professionals
Volunteer Role Either visit in person or speak by phone/video-conference (as available) with a detained immigrant who has been identified by our local partners or volunteer attorneys as experiencing mental health-related concerns. Conduct professional mental health evaluation to determine psychological condition of the individual and potential causes. Compile observations and findings into an expert declaration, which will then be submitted in support of some form of relief for the detainee—e.g., a request for release from the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or an asylum application before the immigration court. Must be available to testify in Court telephonically in the event that the Court requires oral testimony beyond the written declaration.

*Note: Due to COVID-19, all cases are currently fully remote. This includes meeting with the client and court appearances. Client communication is either via telephone or via video-visits, like Skype. Should a client have a case in a court that is not automatically granting telephonic appearances, we will make that clear before asking a volunteer to take a case.

Provide a Forensic Medical Examination

Perform a telephonic (and documents-based), skype, or in-person forensic medical examination for an immigrant detainee. Write up the evaluation in the form of an expert declaration, which will be submitted to either an immigration court or government agency to support some form of relief for the detainee.
Locations Across partner sites
Types of Volunteers Needed Physicians
Volunteer Role Either visit in person or speak by phone/video-conference (as available) with a detained immigrant who has been identified by our local partners or volunteer attorneys as having physical trauma that is related to their immigration case. Conduct forensic medical examination to determine the physical condition of the individual and potential causes. Compile observations and findings into an expert declaration, which will be submitted in support of some form of relief for the detainee—e.g., a request for release from the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or an asylum application before the immigration court. Must be available to testify in Court telephonically in the event that the Court requires oral testimony beyond the written declaration.

*Note: Due to COVID-19, all cases are currently fully remote. This includes meeting with the client and court appearances. Client communication is either via telephone or via video-visits, like Skype. Should a client have a case in a court that is not automatically granting telephonic appearances, we will make that clear before asking a volunteer to take a case.

Respond to Hotline Calls

Our partner, Freedom for Immigrants, runs a hotline for people in immigration detention as well as family members seeking support for loved ones in detention. Hotline volunteers monitor detention conditions, report abuses and request support on behalf of callers.
Locations Fully remote
Hours and Duration You will sign up for 2-hour shifts that take place M-F between 6am-8pm PST

Types of Volunteers Needed Preference given to volunteers who speak a second language
Volunteer Role Respond to calls to the hotline from people in immigration detention as well as family members seeking support for their loved ones in detention.

FFI needs people who are able to project their empathy and understanding over the phone in order to calm and reassure people in detention.
Interpretation/Translation Preference given to volunteers who speak a second language
Malpractice Coverage N/A

Visitation

Our partner, Freedom for Immigrants, is connected to the largest network of visitor volunteers in the US with more than 4,000 people making visits each week. This is a crucial way that you can provide direct support to people in immigration detention and work with them to expose human rights violations and abuses.

COVID-19 Update: During the COVID-19 pandemic, visitation groups are still continuing the critical work of supporting people in ICE detention and reporting human rights violations. Volunteers can communicate with people inside over the phone and/or by mail, and in some facilities electronic messaging and video visitation is possible.
Locations Multiple locations across the country
Hours and Duration Will vary by location/facilitating visitation group
Types of Volunteers Needed Volunteers who live within driving distance of a detention center
Volunteer Role FFI will connect you with a local visitation network through which you will visit, write to, or otherwise communicate with people being held in immigration detention.
Interpretation/Translation N/A
Malpractice Coverage N/A

Post-Release Support

Our partner, Freedom for Immigrants, needs volunteers to join a growing grassroots movement of post-release community care to demonstrate that we are far more capable of providing refuge to immigrants than ICE and corporate prison contractors.
Locations In person or remote
Hours and Duration Flexible
Types of Volunteers Needed Non-attorney
Volunteer Role Volunteers for this opportunity will support those coming out of detention with everyday tasks such as accessing food, shelter, healthcare, transportation, a lawyer, enrolling in English class, purchasing cell phone/ phone plan, bureaucratic errands, community integration, direct advocacy, and offer psycho-social support.
Interpretation/Translation Languages other than English helpful but not necessary
Malpractice Coverage N/A

Spend 1 Week at a Detention Center

Spend one week in Dilley, Texas at the largest family detention center in the country. Volunteers spending a week “on the ground” at a detention center will be received and supervised by our partner organizations’ local staff members.
Locations
  • Dilley, Texas - South Texas Family Residential Center (with Proyecto Dilley)
Hours and Duration
  • 1 week, from Sunday afternoon to Friday evening; 12- to 15-hour days
Volunteer Role
  • Volunteers are critical to providing services to the thousands of women and children detained at this facility after fleeing persecution in their countries of origin. Volunteers help screen the families detained at Dilley and prepare them for their credible and reasonable fear interviews. The volunteer work is extremely physically and mentally demanding. Volunteers will spend long hours in the detention center’s visitation trailer each day. Work varies depending on the needs each week. Volunteers need to report to the on-the-ground staff and be willing to follow their direction and take on a variety of tasks ranging from data entry and scanning to preparing clients for credible and reasonable fear interviews. Flexibility is a must. Volunteering with Proyecto Dilley is coordinated through Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA). For more information about this volunteer opportunity and how to get involved please contact volunteer@caraprobono.org.
Types of Volunteers Needed
  • Attorneys, Law Students, Paralegals, Interpreters, Mental Health Professionals, and Licensed Clinical Social Workers
Interpretation/Translation For more information on language needs, please contact volunteer@caraprobono.org.
Malpractice Coverage Generally available through Immigration Justice Campaign’s referring partner agencies, with some exceptions.

Proyecto Dilley

Six Proyecto Dilley volunteers report from their week on-the-ground with the Proyecto Dilley Pro Bono Project

Where We Work

Denver Contract Detention Facility

3130 Oakland St
Aurora, CO 80010
Phone Number: (303) 361-6612

South Texas Family Residential Center

1925 TX-85
Dilley, TX 78017
Phone Number: (830) 378-6500

Stewart Detention Center

146 Cca Rd
Lumpkin, GA 31815
Phone Number: (229) 838-5000

El Paso, TX

Port Isabel Service Processing Center

Otay Mesa Detention Center

7488 Calzada De La Fuente,
San Diego, CA 92154
Phone: (619) 671-8724

Port Isabel Service Processing Center

27991 Buena Vista Blvd,
Los Fresnos, TX 78566
Phone: (956) 547-1700

Broward Transitional Center and Krome Service Processing Center

Otay Mesa Detention Facility

El Valle Detention Facility

1800 Industrial Drive
Raymondville, TX, 78580
Phone: (956) 689-9999

Folkston ICE Processing Center

3026 Highway 252 E,
Folkston, GA 31537
Phone: (912) 496-6905

Irwin County Detention Center

132 Cotton Dr,
Ocilla, GA 31774
Phone: (229) 468-4121

Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center

1133 Hampton Dupre Rd,
Pine Prairie, LA 70576
Phone: (337) 599-2198

LaSalle ICE Processing Center

830 Pinehill Rd,
Jena, LA 71342
Phone: (318) 992-7800

About Our Model Volunteer Advocacy Get Trained Join

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.

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