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ProBAR Updates



ProBAR's Winter 2022 Bulletin is out! 

This quarter's newsletter features a message from COI and ProBAR leadership that highlights ProBAR's commitment to providing transformational legal services through a period of ongoing transition, a profile of one of our represented clients, and programmatic highlights including a return to in-person services for detained adults and support to youth in transition. The newsletter also shares the impact our volunteers have had this year and opportunities to get involved. 

Staff Reflections on 2022

As 2022 draws to a close, some of our ProBAR staff have shared photos and reflections from the year - including memorable moments or aspects of their work that have inspired gratitude.

Forging Her Own Path Forward

"To me, persevering means being independent - working for oneself without having to rely on anyone else." The story of ProBAR client, Mirian, highlights what it means to be perseverant in the face of abuse, struggles, and an adversarial immigration process. Mirian made the journey from Honduras to the United States as an unaccompanied child when she was only sixteen years old and faced many difficult challenges over the years. Eventually, Mirian won asylum and advocated for other migrant youth. Now a Lawful Permanent Resident, Mirian looks forward to continuing to build her life in the United States and accomplishing various personal and professional goals.

A Message from ProBAR and Commission on Immigration Leadership

Throughout the year's transitions, ProBAR remains committed to providing transformational legal assistance to immigrants and asylum seekers, energized by the impact of these services for clients like a Cuban couple who recently adjusted status. Learn more in this quarter's leadership message written by Commission on Immigration leaders and Acting ProBAR Directors Meredith Linsky and Laura Flores Bachman.

Information is Powerful: ProBAR's Team Welcomes a Return to In-Person Services for Adults in ICE Detention

ProBAR's team transitioned to virtual services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as pandemic-related precautions relax, they celebrate both the impact of their remote work and the opportunities created by returning to in-person services at ICE detention centers. Read more about the team's impact and the strategies and tools currently facilitating their work.

Supporting Youth in Transition: ProBAR Clinical Team services for Teens Released from Custody

Recently one of ProBAR's Bilingual Clinicians witnessed a welcoming embrace that reminded her of the rewards of making a difference in someone's life. Take a moment to read how our Clinical Team assists youth who turn 18 in government custody to safely transition to new homes and prepare for the immigration process ahead.  

ProBAR's Fall 2022 Bulletin is out!

This quarter's ProBAR bulletin highlights a new program to serve non-detained immigrants in removal proceedings, the impact of our team serving asylum-seekers subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols, important training efforts in our children's programs, and recent pro bono engagement - including a pro bono visit by new ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross. Read more to learn about these updates and other ProBAR news!

Channeling Advocacy, Creativity, and Compassion in Response to MPP's Reinstatement

In early 2022, ProBAR responded to the reinstatement of the Migrant Protection Protocols by initiating an Immigration Court Helpdesk and forming an "MPP Team" to serve asylum seekers forced to remain in Mexico under the program. Since that time, our team has provided crucial legal education and case assistance services. This quarter's Program Spotlight highlights the work of the MPP Team, at the Brownsville tent court and beyond, and the impact they have made for the individuals served. 

Advocating for Children with Disabilities

While at times invisible to the public understanding of migrant populations, unaccompanied children with disabilities have long undertaken the challenging journey to the United States in search of safety and opportunity. ProBAR's Shelter Services Department recently created and participated in a training on best practices to serve children with disabilities, learning about different types of disabilities and strategies they can use to create inclusive spaces where children feel comfortable and respected.

Message from ProBAR's Director of Programs

ProBAR is proud to serve our RGV community and excited to announce the launch of a new Immigration Court Helpdesk to serve community members facing removal proceedings without an attorney. Learn more about the impact of this exciting development in a message from ProBAR's Director of Programs, Brenda Piñero.

ProBAR Launches Program to Serve Pro Se Respondents at Harlingen's Immigration Court

ProBAR is happy to announce the launch of our Immigration Court Helpdesk (ICH) program in Harlingen, Texas! True to ProBAR’s holistic approach to empowering immigrants, this program offers resources to people facing removal proceedings without an attorney and who need legal information, guidance in representing themselves, or help filling out forms. Our team is proud to evolve our services to support members of our local community through the new Helpdesk program.

The Summer edition of the ProBAR Bulletin is out!

In addition to updates and reflections from ProBAR Director Kimi Jackson, the newsletter highlights staff perspectives and achievements. Learn more about the recent work of Pro Bono attorneys, volunteers, and other opportunities to get involved.

ProBAR's Release Support Highlight

ProBAR’s Release Support team recently began virtual workshops to assist children and their sponsors with the Change of Venue (COV) and Change of Address (COA) process to help prevent removal orders in abstentia. Read more to learn about the impact of this creative technique.

ProBAR Celebrates Recent Case Victories

ProBAR is excited to share that we are celebrating the victories of at least 15 people who have been granted asylum or protection under the Convention Against Torture from mid-March to mid-June 2022 while subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols. These new asylees fought hard to accomplish this, diligently preparing for their hearings, presenting their cases, and ultimately winning relief.

ProBAR provides asylum seekers subject to MPP with services such as group and individual orientations, asylum workshops, assistance preparing their asylum applications and evidence, or help preparing for merit hearings. We are honored to have provided one or more form of assistance or support to these asylees as they navigated the system, and we are excited to welcome them to the United States.

Message from Director Kimi Jackson, June 2022

After more than two years of primarily remote work, our ProBAR family is back in the office. Learn more about what this means for ProBAR in a message from our director, Kimi Jackson.

Program Spotlight: Shelter Services Team- A Breath of Fresh Air

After 2 years of working from home, ProBAR’s Shelter Services team has returned to providing in-person services at ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) facilities across the Rio Grande Valley. Due to the unique challenges that presented during virtual services, the team expanded their strategies to improve engagement with the children they serve, but they were nonetheless eager to resume connecting with children in-person. For this edition’s Program Spotlight, we spoke with members of the Shelter Services team about their experiences returning to familiar scenes equipped with new strategies and tools that help provide services capable of transforming lives.

“What is ProBAR?” English Infographic

The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) empowers immigrants through high-quality legal education, representation, and connections to services. Two out of five immigrants apprehended near the border begin their immigration process in the Rio Grande Valley, making our region an area with a high need for immigration legal services. ProBAR works diligently to provide information and assistance, focusing particularly on the legal needs of adults and unaccompanied children in federal immigration detention facilities and those forced to remain in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols. In 2021, ProBAR served 26,000 people. To learn more about ProBAR and our work, how to donate, and opportunities to join our team, take a look at our What is ProBAR Infographic. 

Infografía “¿Qué es ProBAR?” Spanish Infographic

El Proyecto de Representación Pro Bono de Asilo del Sur de Texas (ProBAR) empodera a los inmigrantes a través de la educación legal de alta calidad, la representación y las conexiones con los servicios. Dos de cada cinco inmigrantes detenidos cerca de la frontera comienzan su proceso de inmigración en el Valle del Río Grande, lo que convierte a nuestra región en una zona con una gran necesidad de servicios legales de inmigración. ProBAR trabaja con diligencia para proporcionar información y asistencia, concentrándose particularmente en las necesidades legales de los adultos y los niños no acompañados en los centros federales de detención de inmigrantes y de los que se ven obligados a permanecer en México bajo de los Protocolos de Protección de Migrantes. En 2021, ProBAR atendió a 26.000 personas. Para saber más sobre ProBAR y nuestro trabajo, cómo hacer donaciones, y las oportunidades para involucrarse en nuestro equipo, revise nuestra infografía Qué es ProBAR. 

Infografía “ProBAR By the Numbers”

Durante 2021, ProBAR atendió a más de 26,000 personas de más de 30 países y recibió más de 5,000 horas de apoyo voluntario. Obtenga más información sobre el trabajo de nuestro equipo durante el año pasado al ver nuestra infografía titulada “ProBAR By the Numbers” (“Las Cifras detrás de ProBAR”).

¿Qué es el programa Protocolos de Protección a Migrantes (MPP/’Espera en México’)?

Entre 2019 y 2021, más de 70,000 solicitantes de asilo se vieron obligados a esperar en condiciones peligrosas en México bajo los Protocolos de Protección al Migrantes (MPP), también conocido como el programa ‘Espera en México’. El MPP finalizó el año pasado, pero un juez federal luego le ordenó al gobierno que reiniciara el programa. Actualmente el MPP está en revisión por la Corte Suprema. Entonces, ¿qué es exactamente MPP? Haga clic aquí para ver nuestra infografía actualizada que explica el MPP y sus implicaciones.

The Spring Edition of our ProBAR Bulletin is here!

In addition to updates and reflections from ProBAR Director Kimi Jackson, the newsletter highlights staff perspectives and achievements. Learn more about the recent work of Pro Bono attorneys, volunteers, and other opportunities to get involved.

ProBAR by the Numbers Infographic

In 2021, ProBAR served more than 26,000 individuals from over 30 countries and received over 5,000 hours of volunteer support. Learn more about our team's work last year by viewing our ProBAR By the Numbers Infographic

¿Qué es el Título 42?

Si sigue las noticias de inmigración, probablemente sepa que muchos inmigrantes no han podido ingresar a los EE. UU. desde el comienzo de la pandemia debido a una política llamada "Título 42." Pero, ¿qué es el Título 42 y cómo ha afectado el trabajo de ProBAR? Haga clic aquí para ver una infografía que explica el Título 42 y sus implicaciones.

What is the MPP “Remain in Mexico” Program?

Between 2019-2021, tens of thousands of asylum seekers were forced to wait in dangerous conditions in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) – or “Remain in Mexico” program. MPP ended last year, but a federal judge later ordered the government to restart the program. So, what exactly is MPP? Click here for an infographic explaining MPP and its implications.


The Winter edition of the ProBAR Bulletin is out!

In addition to updates and reflections from ProBAR Director Kimi Jackson, the newsletter highlights staff perspectives and their achievements. Learn more about the recent work of Pro Bono attorneys, volunteers, and other opportunities to get involved!

Winter Spotlight: ProBAR's Legal Department Staff

Since March 2020, ProBAR staff have adapted to respond to challenges posed by the Title 42 policy's implementation and restrictions on immigration processing. A program spotlight, featured in the Winter edition of the ProBAR Bulletin newsletter, highlights the Legal Department’s continued work and advocacy for migrant access to legal education and representation.

What is Title 42?

If you follow immigration news, you have likely heard that many migrants have been unable to enter the US since the beginning of the pandemic under a policy called Title 42. But what is Title 42, and how has it affected ProBAR’s work? Click here for an infographic explaining Title 42 and its implications."

The Fall edition of the ProBAR Bulletin is out!

In addition to updates from ProBAR Director Kimi Jackson, the newsletter highlights staff voices and their achievements. Learn more about the recent work of volunteers and other opportunities to get involved! 

Program Spotlight: ProBAR's Delphi Defenders

This spring, staff members from ProBAR's Legal Department responded to the need for legal education services at the Delphi Emergency Intake Site. A program spotlight, featured in the Fall edition of the ProBAR Bulletin newsletter, highlights the team's work providing KYRs to unaccompanied children at the facility.

ProBAR Expands Know Your Rights Resources with Mayan-Language Videos
September 2021

ProBAR is excited to announce the creation of two new Know Your Rights resources for children we serve who speak Mayan languages. These new animated videos narrated in K’iche’ and Mam have recently been incorporated into our work to provide crucial legal information to unaccompanied children.

ProBAR Launches a Newsletter

June 2021

ProBAR is pleased to share the inaugural edition of the ProBAR Bulletin, a quarterly newsletter.  This edition's Program Spotlight features ProBAR's Clinical Team and their compassionate and dedicated approach to serving clients. Additionally, the newsletter includes a message from ProBAR Director Kimi Jackson, New & Notable features from staff, and opportunities to get involved. Access the full Bulletin here. Subscribe now to receive the next ProBAR Bulletin and other updates from the ProBAR team:

Program Spotlight: ProBAR's Clinical Team
June 2021

ProBAR's Release Support Clinical Team applies compassion and a collaborative spirit to serve clients at the start of their next chapter. A program spotlight, featured in the recent ProBAR Bulletin newsletter, highlights the work of the Clinical Team.

ProBAR Releases Blueprint for the Integration of Social Work within Immigration Legal Services
April 2021

In 2018, recognizing the need for holistic immigration advocacy, ProBAR integrated social workers into its trauma-informed approach to client services. Today, ProBAR seeks to offer guidance for immigration legal advocacy organizations considering integration of social workers to their practice through its Blueprint for the Integration of Social Work within Immigration Legal Services. This Blueprint is a practical tool for assessing organizational needs, examining practice structure, and planning for the successful integration of social work into legal practice.

ABA joins lawsuit to help persecuted immigrant children
February 2021

ProBAR joined the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and The Door as an organizational plaintiff in a lawsuit to challenge federal government actions that prevent unaccompanied children formerly subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols program from securing available legal protections. Immigrant Defenders Law Center v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security points to violations of the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 and the Immigration and Nationality Act.


Thank You to ProBAR's Pro Bono Volunteers!
October 2020

In honor of the 12th Annual National Celebration of Pro Bono, ProBAR would like to extend our appreciation for the invaluable support of our pro bono volunteers during an unprecedented year. We are honored to share a message of gratitude from ABA President Patricia Lee Refo for the contributions of our volunteers.

Now Accepting Internship Applications!
October 2020

ProBAR is now accepting applications for our 2021 Summer Internship Program cycle. These positions are full-time and 10 weeks in duration, and offers are made on a rolling basis. Please note that this program is for J.D./LL.M. students or recent graduates. For more information and instructions on how to apply, please visit here.

A Small Victory in a Larger Fight: A Summer Bond Hearing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
July 2020

Throughout the pandemic, pro bono attorneys have collaborated with ProBAR to provide remote representation to clients in seeking release from ICE detention. Pro bono attorney Alex Schnapp of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP shared his experience successfully representing a pro bono client at their bond hearing in a blog published on the ABA Commission on Immigration website.   



Texas Access to Justice Foundation awards grants in honor of 35th anniversary and John Grisham
State Bar of Texas Blog
December 2019

TAJF is providing four $75,000 grants to organizations that provide basic civil legal services to those in need in Texas. These grants were awarded in honor of both TAJF's 35th anniversary and best-selling author John Grisham. 

ProBAR marks 30 years helping immigrants and asylum-seekers
ABA News
November 2019

In 1989, the Texas border was in crisis. Thousands of refugees were fleeing wars in Central America, seeking asylum in the United States. In response, the American Bar Association created the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, or ProBAR – a handful of lawyers and others who offered legal help to immigrants and asylum-seekers. ProBAR marked its 30th anniversary with a gala celebration Nov. 1 in Harlingen.

ProBAR Recieves State Bar of Texas Award
June 2019

ProBAR Director Kimi Jackson and Director of Outreach Emily Joiner accepted a Presidential Citation on behalf of ProBAR at the State Bar of Texas’ annual meeting in Austin on June 12, 2019. ProBAR was recognized for its “outstanding service in providing access to justice to populations that cannot afford or do not have access to an attorney.”


ProBAR recognized as a UTRGV Champion Employer

ProBAR received an award from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) as a Champion Employer in South Texas for October 2018! The office hosted the UTRGV Career Center on October 23rd, which helps to advertise job openings at ProBAR. Congratulations!

"Pro Bono Work at the Border" a State Bar of Texas Podcast from the Legal Talk Network
State Bar of Texas
September 2018


Along the Texas-Mexico border, immigration lawyer Kimi Jackson deals with matters of life and death
ABA Journal
July 2017


Alejandra, age 7, is facing a judge alone. Is that due process?
Christian Science Monitor
November 2016


Lawyers and judges face hurdles in struggle to cope with influx of young immigrants
ABA Journal
December 2014

Children’s Brunch puts spotlight on unaccompanied minors at ABA Annual Meeting
ABA News
August 2014

Q&A: Migrant kids’ legal needs are great, American Bar Association president says
The Dallas Morning News
August 2014

ABA delegation visits emergency shelter for detained immigrant children in Texas
ABA Journal
July 2014

ABA urges legal representation for unaccompanied children
The Washington Letter
July 2014

Amid Wave Of Child Immigrants, Reports Of Abuse By Border Patrol
July 2014

Rush to Deport Young Migrants Could Trample Asylum Claims
New York Times
July 2014

70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?
Mother Jones
June 2014

Hoping for Asylum, Migrants Strain U.S. Border
New York Times
April 2014

Boston law students donate time, energy to RGV caseload
The Monitor
March 2014


First the Fence, Then the System
December 2013

Detained border crossers may find themselves sent to ‘the freezers’
The Center for Investigative Reporting
November 2013

Youth Detainees Fuel ProBAR Growth
ABA News
August 2013


Child Immigration Is Rising
Wall Street Journal
May 2012


ProBAR celebrates 20 years of service
The Brownsville Herald
November 2009

Pro Bono Profile: Jeffrey Stocks of Houston
Texas Bar Blog
October 2009


Mental concerns grow for detainees
The Brownsville Herald
December 2008

Volunteer Attorneys Partner with ProBAR to Assist Immigrant Children Detained in Rio Grande Valley
Winter 2008


Seeing Through the Clients Eyes: Inside the Immigration Courtroom
Immigration Law Today
January/February 2007


TYLA Partners with ProBAR to Represent Unaccompanied Children
Texas Bar Journal
October 2006

Lawyers seminar to address asylum seekers
The Brownsville Herald
February 2006

Attorney Transformed by Stint with ProBAR

Asylum Seekers Find Help at ProBAR


Don’t Just Pay Lip Service to the Act of Volunteering, Make a Commitment to a Noble Cause: ProBAR
Immigration Law Today
November/December 2004

Summer on the Border
Legal Times
August 2004

Urgent Need for Pro Bono Assistance for Detained Immigrants and Refugees in South Texas
Pro Bono Institute
August 2004

Do the Right Thing, the Noble Thing: Pro Bono
Immigration Law Today
May/June 2004

ProBAR Marks 15th Anniversary
Spring 2004


Held by INS, Kids Endure Limbo in U.S.
The Washington Post
September 2002