Immigrant Children’s Assistance Project (ICAP)

ProBAR Children's Project


Founded in 2003 with just one staff-person, ProBAR’s Children’s Project now has a team of seven attorneys, two Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representatives, fifteen paralegals, and two full-time volunteers. The Children’s Project currently serves more than 1,000 detained, unaccom­panied children at shelters in South Texas by provid­ing them with “Know Your Rights” presentations and coordinating their legal representation.

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Photo © 2011 Michelle Frankfurter

The Children We Serve

Each year in the United States, the Depart­ment of Homeland Security detains approximately 8,000 children for immigration violations. The children served by ProBAR’s Children’s Project are among the most vulnerable individuals in need of legal representation in the U.S. today. They are separated from family and detained in remote facilities while they face removal proceedings in immigration court. They range in age from newborns to 17 year olds. Most do not speak English and have limited educations. They are often victims of violence in their homes, their communities, or during their journey to the United States.

Why Your Help Is Critical

Many of the children we serve are eligible for protection under U.S. law, including the Special Immigrant Juvenile visa, U-visa, T-visa, or asylum. However, due to their youth, language barriers, and the complexity of U.S. immigration law and proce­dure, these children face insurmountable obstacles to proving their claims for that protection before an immigration judge or asylum officer on their own. In addition, the children we serve typically do not have financial or other means to obtain private representa­tion.

Volunteer and Change a Child’s Life Today

ProBAR is designed to utilize the services of volunteers who are not experienced in immigra­tion law as well as those who are. We welcome volunteer attorneys, recent law graduates, law stu­dents and legal assistants. Attorneys need not be licensed in the State of Texas to participate. Pro­BAR provides malpractice insurance for attorneys working on cases through our office. In addition, law students under the direction of a supervising attorney may be permitted to represent children at their immigration court hearings. There are a number of ways in which you can volunteer with ProBAR’s Children’s Project:

  • Long-term attorney volunteers stay in South Texas for a period of two weeks, a month, or longer, and handle one or more cases;

  • Short-term attorney volunteers are assigned one or more cases in advance and travel to South Texas to represent detained children;

  • Law students, recent law school graduates, and legal assistants, under attorney supervision, help complete applications, develop supporting docu­mentation and legal memoranda, and prepare applicants to testify at their hearings;
     
  • Law students intern for a period of no less than ten weeks and are fully integrated into the office, attending legal rights presentations, intakes, court hearings, and handling one or more cases under the supervision of an attorney.

Contact Us

ProBAR Children's Project
119 W. Van Buren Avenue
Suite 204
Harlingen, TX 78550

Tel: 956/365-3775
Fax: 956/365-3789

meghan.probar@gmail.com

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