Christina Brown was the lead attorney for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Pro Bono Project in Artesia, New Mexico. She spent approximately 8 months in Artesia, NM and Dilley, TX. Christina was featured in the New York Times article about the refugee camp in Artesia, "The Shame of America's Family Detention Camps ." Kara Lynum spent 7 days in Artesia, New Mexico in September 2014 volunteering with the AILA Pro Bono Project and continued to volunteer remotely after she returned. The Artesia detention center closed in December, but ICE opened a new one in Dilley, Texas that holds 2,400 women and children seeking protection.
There are currently approximately 1,200 women and children from Central America in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in Artesia. These women are fleeing horrific domestic violence and gang-related violence. All of the women in this facility have at least one child with them. U.S. ICE built this facility in the middle of nowhere - presumably with the hopes that no lawyers would show up to help these families. Fortunately, lawyers have been showing up, but it is a very expensive place to travel to.
Through the hard work of the attorneys volunteering there, almost all of the asylum cases that have gone to final hearings have won. 80% of the women have been found to have a credible fear of returning to their home country.
We are going back to Dilley to do this again. I am leaving Minneapolis on Saturday, June 27th to meet up with Christina in Denver and drive to Dilley, TX. We will leave Dilley on July 4.
We are asking for your donation to help pay for Kara's flight to Denver, gas and hotel. We will be paying our own food and any other travel expenses. It's actually cheaper for Kara to fly to Denver and drive than it is to fly directly into San Antonio. We won't need a rental car because we will have Christina's car.
The costs are as follows:
$545 - roundtrip flight from Minneapolis to Denver
$400 - gas money for round trip drive from Denver to Dilley, TX
$631 - 8 nights of hotel (with CARA discount)
The cost of our trip is approximately $1,576.
We are contributing to our own trip, but several people asked us if they could help pay for another trip. Any amount donated over the bare minimum to fund this trip will be donated to the general fund to help other lawyers make the trip to Dilley.
(There are administrative fees associated with using this site. If you are interested in writing me a check or donating with cash to bypass these fees, please send me an email at [email redacted] and I can give you my information.)
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