Seeking pro bono representation

Lack of legal representation in immigration proceedings is an acute issue, particularly in southern New Mexico and West Texas. A lack of either pro bono or low cost immigration attorneys is probably the biggest reason why so many respondents are left with no other option than pro se. Volunteers are often seeking information on how to help the detained migrants they visit or write to obtain pro bono legal help. This post provides some resources.

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ICE detention centers in our service area

This document provides information on the ICE detention centers are located in our organization’s service area: 1) the El Paso Service Processing Center (EPSPC), 2) the Otero County Processing Center (OCPC), and 3) the West Texas Detention Facility (WTDF). Here you will find the address and contact information for each facility along with links to maps, directions, and related documents.

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Resources for pro se stay of removal

Many of the people we visit in detention lack legal representation, they are representing themselves pro se. While most of our volunteers are neither attorneys nor DOJ accredited representatives, we seek to support detained migrants however we can. Requests for sample stay of removal filings and instructions on how craft a pro se stay of removal motion are among the more common document requests that our volunteers receive. This post rounds up a few of the resources we’ve found more useful.

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Resources for keeping track of detention and case status

As visitor volunteers advocating on the behalf of detained individuals, often times it is useful to know if the person we are visiting or writing to is still detained or clearly know the status of their case. This post describes resources for determining if and where a person is detained as well as looking up various details about an individuals immigration case status. It is important to realize that these are very personal pieces of information and it is essential to remain mindful of people’s privacy as detained individuals are very vulnerable. Understanding what can be accessed via a person’s A# underscores reasons for not sharing that information publicly without first having that individual’s informed consent.

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Department of State Human Rights Reports in ICE Detention Center Law Libraries

A question that came up at the December 9th 2018 volunteer meeting is, are detention centers required to supply documents relevant to country conditions and Department of State (DOS) Human Rights (HR) reports specifically? The short answer is a clear and unambiguous “Yes”. For those unfamiliar with these documents, they are briefly described. In addition, specific ICE detention standards detailing the fact that the documents must be supplied are cited, and finally a case is made that this is yet another issue that needs close monitoring.

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