August 23, 2017

About Us

About the Commission on Immigration

The ABA Fund for Justice and Education is 501(c)(3) charitable fund that support the public service and educational programs of the American Bar Association.

The Commission directs the Association’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants and refugees within the United States. Acting in coordination with other Association entities, as well as governmental and non-governmental bodies, the Commission:

1) advocates for statutory and regulatory modifications in law and governmental practice consistent with ABA policy;

2) provides continuing education and timely information about trends, court decisions and pertinent developments for members of the legal community, judges, affected individuals and the public; and

3) develops and assists the operation of pro bono programs that encourage volunteer lawyers to provide high quality, effective legal representation for individuals in immigration proceedings, with a special emphasis on the needs of the most vulnerable immigrant and refugee populations.

Guided by resolutions adopted by the ABA House of Delegates, the Commission works to coordinate and strengthen the ABA’s response to legal developments and to address the needs of immigrants and newcomers. Among our greatest concerns are the erosion of due process safeguards, the growing reliance on detention, and the lack of access to legal information and counsel for individuals in immigration proceedings, including vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied immigrant children and mentally disabled individuals. The ABA Board of Governors has designated immigration to be a legislative priority of the ABA in each Congress since 1992.

2017-2018 Commission on Immigration

Interested in becoming a member of the Commission or Advisory Committee? 

All members are appointed by the Office of the President. To apply to become a 2018-2019 member, please submit your self-nomination through the Office of the President's nomination portal. You will be able to submit your nomination from December 1, 2017 through approximately February 2018.

The ABA's Commission on Immigration is seeking talented law clerks and interns to assist in national advocacy work for immigrants, refugees and newcomers to this nation.

Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and list of three references to immcenter@americanbar.org.

The Commission on Immigration merged two predecessor ABA entities that were responsible for work in the area of immigration law and policy: the Coordinating Committee on Immigration Law and the Advisory Committee to the Immigration Pro Bono Development and Bar Activation Project. 

The Coordinating Committee on Immigration Law was established by the ABA House of Delegates in February 1983 following House of Delegates approval of a comprehensive package of policies on pending immigration reform legislation. The Advisory Committee to the Immigration Pro Bono Development and Bar Activation Project was created in Fall 1990, with a Ford Foundation grant to establish a project to develop pro bono resources in immigrant communities through provision of technical assistance and mini-grants awarded to bar associations. In May 2002, the ABA Board of Governors approved a merger of the two entities into the Commission on Immigration, Policy, Practice and Pro Bono. In 2004, the name was shortened to the Commission on Immigration. The Board of Governors established the 10-member Advisory Committee to the Commission in 2005.

The Commission is a part of the ABA Division for Public Services, an ABA department dedicated to applying the knowledge and experience of the legal profession to promotion of the public good. To learn more about the Division and its other constituent entities, please visit its webpage.