Dilley Pro Bono Project

IAP has partnered with the Feerick Center for Social Justice to train, sponsor, and supervise Fordham Law School students on service trips to provide limited-scope legal representation and engage in systemic advocacy on behalf of asylum-seeking families detained in the South Texas Family Residential Center (“STFRC”) in Dilley, Texas. Service trips are conducted through the Dilley (formerly CARA Family Detention) Pro Bono Project.

DPBP operates a pro bono model of legal services that provides limited-scope representation to the children and women incarcerated at the Dilley family immigration detention center. New volunteer teams arrive in Dilley each Sunday for orientation and work evey day, usually 12–15 hours a day, through Friday. At the end of the week, a new team arrives to take over and carry the work forward until all the children and women are released and this mass incarceration system ends.

The South Texas Family Residential Center (“STFRC”), located in Dilley, Texas, is the largest family detention facility in the country and has capacity for 2,400 women and children. By volunteering at STFRC, Fordham Law School students may have opportunities to:

  • Counsel detained women in preparation for credible and reasonable fear interviews;
  • Conduct client interviews and draft declarations in support of negative credible fear reviews before immigration judges or requests for reconsideration to the Asylum Office;
  • Conduct client interviews and draft declarations related to other client issues, including conditions of confinement, access to counsel, and denial of appropriate medical services;
  • Conduct know-your-rights presentations;
  • Prepare bond packets for detained families;
  • Conduct intake for detained families; and
  • Assist in systemic advocacy efforts related to ending family detention.All partcipating students will bear witness to the unspeakable violence from which detained families have fled and the severe impact that detention has had on them.