Spring Break Pro Bono Caravans
Dilley, Texas: Immigrant Detention Center (co-sponsored with EWOC)
Students on this caravan worked with the CARA Pro Bono Project to represent immigrant and refugee mothers and their children at the largest family detention center in the United States. Students prepped clients for their Credible Fear Interviews and had the opportunity to represent clients at their bond hearings, as well as prepare bond packets for detained clients. Additionally, students attended debriefing meetings with CARA staff and other volunteers
Immigration and Civil Rights in El Paso, Texas
Students on this caravan worked on immigration and civil rights issues in El Paso, Texas. We partnered with two local civil rights organizations, Las Americas Immigration Advocacy Center and Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project, to provide direct legal services and conduct research projects on novel issues. Students also took a tour of the U.S.-Mexican border and observed immigration court proceedings in town.
International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) in Amman, Jordan
Students traveled to Amman, Jordan to provide direct legal assistance to Iraqi and Syrian refugees with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). Students learned how to interview victims of torture and conducted client intakes with vulnerable refugees referred to IRAP by partner NGOs, as well as meeting with existing Columbia clients. Students also attended outreach meetings with local NGOs to learn more about the situation facing refugees on the ground in the Middle East.
NYLAG Immigration Law Caravan in NYC
Students worked with attorneys in NYLAG’s community-based immigration clinics to conduct legal screenings or provide specific application assistance. Students participated in a variety of clinics that either provide general legal immigration screenings to help individuals to determine eligibility for various forms of immigration relief, including family based petitions, deferred action, T- and U-visas, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), and asylum, or provide specific application assistance for some immigration benefits, like Naturalization, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or Temporary Protected Status.
In the fall semester, SJI sends out a general application for all sponsored spring break pro bono caravans. Students interested in participating in a SIRR-sponsored caravan should apply through the general SJI form. Depending on the caravan, prior involvement in relevant SIRR activities may be a helpful in the application process.
For more information, please contact Ruth O'Herron (firstname.lastname@example.org).