Duct tape

It can fix things. It can destroy things, like the feeling of safety, or of humanity. Migrant women seeking asylum are reporting that they have been bound and gagged. This has happened before, during and after their journey, and as the border restrictions grow tighter, the risks of human smuggling increase.

Urgent call for remote legal representation (Need not be an immigration attorney, Spanish speaker)

We received this message from our friends at Al Otro Lado. Response is needed by Friday:

Urgent Call for Remote Attorneys! Are you able to provide remote representation for individuals seeking parole from ICE Detention?

We are seeking representation for 20+ or more families and would like to have these attorneys identified by Friday if possible.

Attorneys do NOT need to be specialists in immigration law, but should have experience fighting for clients in hostile environments, including criminal defense, parole, bail, domestic violence survivor advocacy, and other setting. You do not need to speak Spanish. This would be representation ONLY before CBP and ICE and not EOIR (although you could consider taking the full case if you would like to!).

If you are another legal worker-including a legal assistant or law student—please also get in touch.

We would provide you with templates, detailed guidance, and access to technical assistance throughout this process. Please email me at probono@alotrolado.org if you are available.

ICE accused of intentional destruction of detainee’s legal files, documentation

Asylum seekers coming to the border often come with important paperwork needed to make their case: birth, death and marriage certificates, government issued ID, photographs of torture and death. There have long been complaints and allegations that CBP and/or ICE regularly lose (“lose”) these documents when people are in detention. This weekend a California immigration lawyer reported her detainee client observed the willful destruction of legal files. This is, as some have noted, a violation of the Federal Records Act. It also makes it vastly more difficult to make a successful asylum claim. Some organizations (Al Otro Lado among them) offer to scan documents and put them “in the cloud” for just this reason.

 

Lawyers and others working on the border face harassment from US, Mexican authorities

You may have heard that lawyers Nora Phillips and Erika Pinheiro and two journalists recently had their passports flagged and were denied entry into Mexico, because of their work with asylum seekers. This article documents how much more widespread the interference with this work is, and at whose direction it is happening.

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/08/us-mexico-border-journalists-harassment/

Lawyers seen as heroes by refugee kids

Here’s a heartwarming reminder of why we do the work we do: