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Passion for Justice: Resources to Help Detained Immigrants

Policy changes under the new administration have led to a new and complicated immigration environment in the United States. One of the biggest effects we are seeing, is an increase in deportations and a lack of constitutional protections for detained immigrants. According to the American Immigration Council, less than 20 percent of detained immigrants in the US have legal counsel in their deportation proceedings.

Many AAJ members have expressed concerns over this new dynamic and asked how they can help. We’ve compiled a list of resources and volunteer opportunities below for anyone who would like to lend a hand or learn more about the issues.

Resources:

  • Through the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), you can sign up to be a volunteer or mentor in specific legal areas and receive training specific to immigration cases.
  • AILA’s Immigration 2017 webpage is a one-stop-shop for legal and policy analyses of the recent executive actions on immigration.
  • AILA and the American Bar Association have teamed up to encourage lawyers to stop “Notario Fraud” – individuals who falsely represent themselves as qualified to offer legal advice, often taking advantage of immigrants. The Stop Notario Fraud website provides legal resources to help prevent fraud at both the federal and state levels. They also provide resources for attorney and law enforcement and training materials including recorded webinars.
  • Stay up-to-date on legal and political actions related to immigration with AILA’s Immigration Politics Ticker.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • The Immigration Advocates Network has a Pro Bono Resource Center with a state-by-state map of organizations looking for pro bono volunteers and a calendar of upcoming trainings by state.
  • Advocates for Human Rights has a volunteer program with details on their take action page.
  • Volunteer opportunity in Georgia: The 1,800-bed Stewart Detention Center (run by private prison company CoreCivic) in Lumpkin, Georgia, is one of the largest – and most underserved – immigration detention centers in the country. The Detention Watch Network has written this report on this notorious facility, as part of its “Expose and Close” campaign. Volunteer lawyers will be doing intake, case/litigation prep, and bond hearings. Contact AILA for more information.
  • Volunteer opportunity in Texas: The Dilley Pro Bono Project needs volunteers to help represent detained immigrant children and their mothers – most of whom have fled horrific violence in Central America – at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, TX. The detention of these families is a shameful policy, and AILA has been at the forefront of advocacy to end family detention once and for all. Resources and background information on this fight can be found here. More than 20,000 children and mothers have been represented through the volunteer efforts in Dilley. If you are interested in volunteering, please email the project’s volunteer coordinator Crystal Massey at crystal@caraprobono.org. To learn more about additional opportunities to volunteer at a second family detention center in Karnes, TX, please see the CARA Family Detention Project

Thank you for your support!

Posted on June 15, 2017 at 1:40 pm in Community Outreach, Featured, General, Pro Bono by Marie D'Avignon - RSS 2.0

15th Anniversary of 9/11

exhibit-case_2-articleSeptember 11, 2001, affected our country and all of us deeply. In 2001, the American Association for Justice organized a program to provide free legal help for 9/11 survivors. The program was called Trial Lawyers Care.

More than 1,100 lawyers donated their time and service to help 9/11 survivors apply for help from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Lawyers provided a combined total of more than 100 years of service on these cases. No lawyer took a fee for this work. The main objective was to give back to a community that was suffering.

On the 15th anniversary of 9/11 the American Association for Justice will once again call on members to volunteer—this time to save lives, by speaking with teens about how they can prevent distracted driving-related deaths.

In their law practices, trial attorneys see how distracted driving kills and injures a disproportionate number of teens. Motivated to save teen lives and reduce distracted driving, hundreds of lawyers have already reached nearly 300,000 teens across North America by giving End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org) presentations to school and community groups.

But we can do more. Saving lives by promoting accountability and safety is a mission that trial lawyers embrace every day. With AAJ and EndDD working together, making school presentations in September, we can promote additional conversation in the community that can make a difference.

To sign up as a 15th anniversary volunteer, please visit http://www.enddd.org/AAJ.  

Posted on May 24, 2016 at 7:52 pm in Community Outreach, Featured by kloiacono - RSS 2.0

End Distracted Driving

Trial lawyers Joel Feldman and Jeff Weinstein are leading the charge to encourage people to make better and safer choices when they get into a car. They are working to end distracted driving.

Weinstein said he realized how dangerous he was after a day out driving with his family. He was checking his phone while he was behind the wheel and his wife announced, “You’re going to kill all of us.” He realized she was not joking.  Soon thereafter, he started learning more about distracted driving – which is responsible for more than 5,000 deaths and close to 450,000 injury-producing accidents in the U.S. every year. In the past two years, he’s made presentations about distracted driving to more than 15,000 students and civic organization members in Texas.

For  Feldman, he suffered a personal tragedy. His daughter Casey, a college student, was hit and killed by a distracted driver. Feldman and his wife established the Casey Feldman Foundation to help organizations that aligned with Casey’s interests and activities. The foundation sponsors End Distracted Driving, which is dedicated to preserving life and promoting safety on a large scale through advocacy, education, and action.

Hundreds of trial lawyers across the U.S. and Canada are speaking with students about distracted driving, to help them and their families make safer driving decisions as part of the EndDD.org student awareness initiative.

 

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm in Community Outreach, Featured by kloiacono - RSS 2.0