The U.S.-Mexico Border Clinic is an experiential course in which students will complete two weeks of intensive study in refugee and asylum law and practice followed by one week in the South Texas Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas representing asylum seekers.
This year, hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Central America will cross the U.S.-Mexico border, seeking asylum. Many of these refugees are parents, who have left their homes in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, to protect their children from kidnapping, gang conscription, and sexual assault.
Previously, most families who could prove they met the basic eligibility requirements for asylum were released to fight their cases. After a brief, disastrous attempt to separate parents from their children at the border in the summer of 2018, he Trump Administration has proposed new rules that would keep families with children detained indefinitely.
Many families with children will be detained at the South Texas Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas, where the CARA Pro Bono Project has represented asylum-seekers at the facility since 2015. Ninety percent of those seeking asylum will pass their initial asylum screening, but they need legal representation to ultimately prevail on their claim of asylum. Without an attorney, 95% will lose their cases. With an attorney, almost half will win.