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.