Laid out in the Preamble to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, lawyers are “public citizens” charged to seek improvement of the law, create access to the legal system, and ensure that justice is administered equally to all.
When issues arise in our nation that pertain to the rule of law and our justice system, lawyers have an obligation to act. And now, is the time to act.
As leaders and changemakers in our society, when lawyers speak up, they make an impact. Today, lawyers have the power to support to the nearly 2000 separated families at our nation’s border.
Here are some ways you can help these families at the border:
1. Support Pro Bono Organizations Near the Border
- South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) is providing free legal services to asylum seekers detained in South Texas.
- Immigrant Justice Project of San Diego (IJP) provides pro bono legal services for immigrants and asylum-seekers appearing before the San Diego immigration court.
- RAICES is a nonprofit that provides free and legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Texas.
- The CARA Project is currently recruiting attorneys, law students and paralegals to represent families detained in the South Texas Family Residential Center.
- Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center provides legal representation to immigrants who might not be able to afford it otherwise.
- Safe Passage Project provides free lawyers to refugee children in New York City and Long Island, including those being separated from their families.
- Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project works to prevent the deportation of asylum-seeking families fleeing violence.
2. Offer Your Translation Assistance
Fluent in another language? Lawyer or not, many organizations need individuals to translate conversations between volunteer attorneys, immigrants, and other non-profits helping at the border. Some of these include the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Human Rights First, The Legal Aid Justice Center, Together Rising, Texas Civil Rights Project, Al Otro Lado, The Florence Project, and International Refugee Assistance Project.
3. Contact Your State’s Senators and Representative
- The American Bar Association Action Center is pushing legislation to stop routine separation of immigrant families at the border. If you visit the Action Center’s website, they will auto-generate an email that you can send directly to your local representative.
- The Lawyer Moms of America are planning “Day of Action” events across the country on June 29th. Attorneys will hand-deliver letters to members of Congress opposing the current policy in place.
4. Support Family Immigration and Legal Aid Organizations in Illinois
- Chicago Volunteer Legal Services
- Illinois Coalition for Immigrants and Refugee Rights
- Illinois Legal Aid Online
- Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation
- Prairie State Legal Services
- Road to Status