For more than 30 years, ProBAR has been a leading provider of critical legal services for people at risk of deportation in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) empowers immigrants through high-quality legal education, representation, and connections to services. ProBAR serves immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley border region with a particular focus on the legal needs of adults and unaccompanied children in federal custody.
A project of the American Bar Association, ProBAR was founded in 1989 in response to an urgent need for immigration legal services in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. At that time, thousands of Central Americans fled violence in their home countries to seek protection in the United States and found themselves detained in remote South Texas with very limited access to pro bono legal services. Observing this need, the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the State Bar of Texas collaborated to create ProBAR as a national effort to coordinate and encourage pro bono representation of detained asylum-seekers.
Today, two in five migrants who enter the United States each year seeking protection and opportunity cross into the Rio Grande Valley, and ProBAR’s location at the border places our work on the frontlines of immigration. As the landscape of immigration law and policy have shifted, our services have adapted to meet new needs - adding a children’s program in 2003, responding to the “surge” of unaccompanied children in 2014, and adapting services to the needs of families separated under zero tolerance in 2018 and asylum-seekers placed in the Migrant Protection Protocols program in 2019 and 2020. Throughout this time ProBAR has consistently worked to increase access to counsel and ensure due process for immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley.
Our ABA Family
ProBAR is proud to be part of the ABA Commission on Immigration, along with our sister projects the Immigration Justice Project and the Children’s Immigration Law Academy. Learn more about their excellent work below!