Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07042761 (posted Apr. 27, 2007)"
The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) is a national effort to provide pro bono legal services to asylum seekers detained in South Texas by the United States government. The project recruits, trains and coordinates the activities of volunteer attorneys, law students and legal assistants. ProBAR is a joint project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and AILA.
Every year, hundreds of asylum seekers are detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in South Texas. They have fled civil war, ethnic fighting and religious and political persecution. Most have little, if any, money by the time they arrive in the United States and are not able to hire counsel or post the substantial immigration bonds required for release.
Having language barriers, little understanding of U.S. law and court procedures, and few financial resources, they face almost insurmountable obstacles to proving their asylum claims. As a result, many risk being deported back to places where they may face persecution and even death based upon their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
The responsibility has fallen on the private bar to offer legal assistance to these individuals. ProBAR provides the means by which the legal community can respond.
For more information or to volunteer, email Meredith Linsky, ProBAR Director, or call her at 956-425-9231.