To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel :
Thousands of unaccompanied children flee their home countries each year with the dream of finding the security that most Americans take for granted. Many have lost their parents and have fled war, violent gang recruitment, devastating poverty and other brutal conditions in their home countries. Their stories vary widely, but their dreams of finding a safe and secure home in the United States are remarkably similar.
When detained at our borders, these children have no right to an attorney or ad litem, and no means to hire one. Unable to navigate the complicated immigration system without adequate counsel, they remain in detention, facing almost certain deportation. In some of their cases, legal representation could mean the difference between life and death.
For the past 16 years, the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR), a joint project of the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, has responded to the dire need for representation for immigrants and refugees along the Texas border. With a tiny staff of four employees, ProBAR provides vital services to the detained men, women and children who are most in need.
On any given day, up to 293 unaccompanied children are detained at the South Texas border. This year, TYLA will be helping ProBAR recruit and train volunteer attorneys to represent the children most in need of representation.
Your legal skills can provide an opportunity for the safety and security that these children so desperately seek. For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: Reprinted with permission. The full text of Ms. Crump's letter is available at Texas Bar Journal, Vol. 69, No. 8, p. 797 or online at www.tyla.org.