Take Action: Defend the Rule of Law and Support Refugees in Tijuana

As 7,000+ refugee children, elders and individuals flee widespread political persecution, gang violence and discrimination from Central America in the largest caravan in decades, it is vital that we, as a legal community, come together and provide immediate and concrete legal support for the people seeking asylum in our country.

The U.S. government is attempting to deny the right to asylum and has been violating U.S. and international law. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) is denying asylum seekers their right to request asylum and is illegally restricting the asylum application process. There is a tremendous need for legal support during this rapidly changing humanitarian crisis, in order for asylum seekers to receive accurate legal information on immigration law and the asylum process so they understand their options and are prepared when they are able to present their case.

Statewide Volunteer Opportunities

Only 14% of detained immigrants have access to legal counsel. Below you will find incredible organizations in Southern and Northern California that need your support in providing pro bono legal assistance to refugee and migrant communities.

Northern California Opportunities

Short-term opportunities:

  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) partners with individual attorneys, law firms, corporations and bar associations to represent migrant and refugee children in deportation proceedings. Volunteers don’t need to have immigration experience! KIND trains and mentors volunteers throughout their cases. Contact Katie Annand for more information.
  • The Tahirih Justice Center provides volunteers the opportunity to represent, counsel and assist refugees who are escaping gender-based persecution and torture. No experience is needed, and opportunities are open to attorneys and interpreters. Sign-up here and you will have access to training, resources and mentorship.
  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights - Asylum Pro Bono Project provides volunteers the opportunity to represent, counsel and assist refugees who have escaped persecution and torture. No experience is needed and opportunities are open to attorneys, interpreters and mentor attorneys. Get involved and sign-up here.

Long-term opportunities:

  • Legal Services for Children provides free representation to immigrant children in detention and deportation proceedings. Legal Services to Children provides volunteers with training materials, reference guides and supervision. Sign up to volunteer here.
  • Centro Legal de la Raza provides legal representation and consultations to over 5,000 immigrants each year, including hundreds of unaccompanied children and families seeking refuge in the United States and immigrants who have been the victims of violent crimes. Contact Karem Herrera to receive training and take on a case that needs urgent pro bono representation.
  • Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto's (CLSEPA) Pro Bono Program has worked with hundreds of volunteer attorneys to represent and assist unaccompanied minors and families in deportation proceedings. Please contact Aileen Connolly for a list of current cases that are in need of pro bono representation. They provide training and mentorship to their pro bono volunteers.
Southern California Opportunities

Short-term opportunities: 

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association - Immigration Court Pro Bono Representation Panel has helped 4,000 immigrants remain in the U.S. with their families for the past 20 years. No experience necessary. You will receive training, resources and guides to assist you. This is a perfect opportunity for volunteer attorneys who want to get involved and have no immigration court experience. Contact Bruno for more information.
  • Al Otro Lado is a bi-national direct legal services organizations serving indigent deportees, migrants and refugees in Tijuana and Los Angeles. Al Otro Lado needs immigration attorneys, paralegals, doctors, nurses, social workers, mental health professionals, art therapists, and nice people who want to support migrants and refugees. You can volunteer remotely! Sign-up here.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA (AAAJ-LA) trains attorney and non-attorney volunteers and conducts free citizenship/naturalization clinics where volunteers assist individuals complete the Application for Naturalization (N-400). Sign-up for their trainings here.
  • Catholic Charities offers weekly citizenship workshops across the greater Los Angeles area and is need of volunteer attorneys and volunteer interpreters! Contact Efrain Villa to volunteer for the citizenship workshops.

Long-term opportunities:

  • Bet Tzedek Legal Services - Immigrant Child Advocacy Project is seeking volunteer attorneys to represent migrant and refugee children in Los Angeles through placing Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SJIS) cases. Sign-up on their website and you will receive training materials, manuals, resources, and sample documents.
  • Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project provides direct representation and community education to unaccompanied children and adults in immigration detention in the Los Angeles area who cannot afford legal representation. They provide volunteer attorneys with guidance resources, samples, training materials and mentorship. Sign up to attend their Pro Bono Attorney Information Session.
  • Immigrant Justice Project of San Diego (IJP) seeks to promote due process and access to justice for detained and non-detained immigrants and asylum-seekers through the provision of pro bono legal services for people appearing before the San Diego immigration court. The IJP provides mentorship and training to all volunteers!
National and Regional Opportunities

Regional Organizations

  • The CARA Family Detention Project (Texas) works to ensure that detained children and their mothers receive competent, pro bono representation and to end the practice of family detention entirely. They are actively recruiting attorneys, law students, paralegals, and interpreters with interest and experience in asylum work to provide on-the-ground help in family detention centers in Texas. Learn more and sign up here.
  • The Karnes Pro Bono Project (Texas) was launched in 2014 to provide free legal assistance to children and women imprisoned in the Karnes Detention Center, the largest family detention center. RAICES, a Texas immigration legal services non-profit provides assistance to families in detention with filling out intake paperwork, interviewing clients, and helping them prepare for their credible or reasonable fear interview. Sign-up to volunteer here.
  • Immigration Justice Campaign has multiple pro bono opportunities, including remote opportunities as well as in-person volunteering in Texas. Click here to sign up.
  • Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project - Pro Bono Program (Arizona) is the only organization in Arizona that provides free legal and social services to detained children and adults under threat of deportation. The Florence Project Pro Bono Program provides training and mentorship to all volunteer attorneys. Email them here so you can provide free legal representation to a detained child or adult who would otherwise be forced to represent themselves.
  • Santa Fe Dreamers Project (New Mexico) provides free legal services to immigrants to expand access to counsel for immigrants. They conduct weekly DACA clinics, limited-scope representation and full-scope representation. Pro bono attorneys and interpreters are needed and you can sign-up here.
  • Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (Georgia and Lousiana), a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, provide high-quality, pro bono legal representation to detained immigrants facing deportation in the Southeast. Volunteer attorneys will be provided with training and mentorship. Click here to sign up.

National Organizations

  • Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) works to prevent the deportation of refugee families fleeing violence by providing community support and emergency legal aid to refugee families all over the U.S. Sign-up for future volunteer opportunities here.
  • CLINIC’s BIA Pro Bono Appeals Project matches vulnerable immigrants with pro bono counsel to defend their cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).