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Detention and LOP Information Line Internship

"I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything, But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." - Edward Everett Hale

The ABA Commission on Immigration is seeking talented law students and undergraduate students interested in joining the Association’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees within the U.S.

About Us

The ABA Commission on Immigration’s Detention & Legal Orientation Program (LOP) Information Line provides legal information on immigration matters to callers in ICE custody throughout the nation. Our goal is to ensure that the due process rights of immigrants are respected. We aim to provide vital information and support to immigrants and refugees detained by ICE and promote pro bono practices across the country. People in ICE custody are facing barriers in countless ways including limited access to information and lawyers, limited access to their family and friends, limited access to financial support, language barriers, and overall dehumanizing conditions. The Information Line aims to orient callers about the immigration process and their rights by providing information to callers in their native language by phone and by mail and directing them toward potential legal help in their location.


The Detention & LOP Information Line operates from 9:00 am through 5:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Interns will interact directly with people in detention conducting remote individual orientations (IOs) via telephone wherein they provide callers general legal information, refer callers to local LOP providers, and refer callers to local pro bono organizations for case assistance and placement. Interns will also assist in mailing pro se materials to callers, as requested. Interns will be trained on a wide variety of immigration law topics, and a trauma-informed approach to cross-cultural interactions. Interns can also work independently on immigration-related projects, presentations, and/or writing samples to further their research and presentation skills. Interns should show a demonstrated interest in the issues facing immigrants and refugees. Interns must demonstrate respect and compassion for individuals from diverse backgrounds. Spanish fluency is preferred, as are other foreign language skills.

Stipend and Commitment

The internship is unpaid. Academic credit through a student’s institution is applicable, where available.

Internship Hours Commitment: 20 hours per week, unless the institution’s internship program requires additional hours.

Application Process

Please email your resume, a brief cover letter, and your expected weekly hours of availability to Alicia M. de la O at [email protected].

Application Deadline

Applications are received on a rolling basis until positions are filled.

Intern testimonials

At beginning of my internship, I thought I understood the severity of systemic issues in the immigration system. But the ABA opened my eyes to the real struggles detained migrants experience not only in detention, but throughout their lives. One interaction I will never forget was from a caller seeking asylum because she was a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and terrified of being deported to a country that condemned her existence. But in the middle of our call, she stopped and took the time to thank me. She explained that throughout her immigration proceedings, she had been neglected and ignored because of her identity. However, she expressed how grateful she was to speak with someone who listened and genuinely cared about her struggles. Hearing people fight a system that seeks to punish them fundamentally changed the way I view systemic issues by challenging me to acknowledge the darker side of the immigration process — while also honoring their struggles and life histories. Listening to the problems, successes, and fears individuals experience in detention demonstrated that the immigration system is more than unfair, it is dehumanizing. Despite this, my supervisors at the ABA reminded me that it is always worth taking the time to listen to people and treat them with dignity. That it is always worth being compassionate to others. And that people will always be worth helping and advocating for, no matter the outcome. I will always carry these principles from the ABA with me because anyone can always help someone.

Kathryn Babson,  University of California - San Diego, Spring 2023

My internship at the ABA Commission on Immigration was an experience I will never forget. During my time, my responsibility consisted of taking calls from migrant detainees at ICE detention centers. We provided general legal information, informed callers of their rights and provided them contact information of legal resources within their respective detention centers. This internship was one of my first experiences in being able to understand the immigration system and what the experiences of some migrant detainees may look like. This internship only furthered my passion for pursuing law school and focusing on criminal immigration law. This opportunity to work in a hands-on internship that is applying policies that are currently in place is very rare. Without this experience, I don't think of any other job or internship that would provide a real-world level understanding of immigration. Had I not interned here I don’t think I would have learned even half of what I did. This internship isn't simply about learning about the immigration procedure and law, it's understanding the real-world impact of the policies that are put in place. The staff here, Alicia, Eddie and Lucy were absolutely amazing in providing any kind of help after a call. If something didn't make sense they took the time to explain and provide suggestions for how to better the call and information given to a caller. They were incredibly compassionate and everyone at the ABA was super welcoming of the interns and made sure that we all were made to feel at home!

Perla Guadalupe Salcedo, University of California - Irvine, Spring 2023

Read more testimonials here!