AILA Doc No. 14100655 | Dated October 6, 2014
After nearly six months of operation, the Artesia Family Residential Center officially closed its doors on December 18, 2014. During this time, more than 1,200 women and children were detained in this New Mexico facility. Many of these families had fled violence, persecution and extreme poverty from their home countries.
AILA National, in conjunction with AILA chapters, worked tirelessly to organize and address the complete lack of legal representation available to the families held at the detention facility. The speed with which ICE was deporting families was alarming—especially considering the complete lack of any pro bono legal counsel. With the help of our amazing volunteers, the Artesia Pro Bono Project helped release over 800 people prior to the closure of the facility. Volunteer attorneys and support staff on the ground worked 16-20 hour days to help save the lives of many detainees. In addition to ensuring people knew their legal rights and were prepared to present and defend their cases, AILA volunteers fought to get removal orders vacated, turned around cases at the negative credible fear stage and worked with the Asylum Office to reopen denials and grant credible fear. The project has won 13 of the 14 asylum cases that have gone to trial thus far. The veracity of this project and the commitment of our volunteers has inspired and energized the detainees, and most importantly, has given them a voice.
The Artesia Pro Bono Project is not over just yet, and we still need your help. Prior to closing, some of the families from the Artesia Family Residential Center were transferred to either the Karnes County Residential Center or the new South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, TX. We are still very much committed to serving these families and ask for your help in this effort—whether it is through volunteering or donating.
Please give generously so this volunteer effort can continue to bring hope to families detained in Artesia.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 14100655.