U.S. Border Response

HIAS works on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to provide services to asylum seekers. We are also providing extensive community education to asylum seekers, including “Know Your Rights” presentations, and remote meetings with experienced asylum attorneys.

  • HIAS has offices in Mexico in Juarez, Matamoros, Mexicali, Mexico City, Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, Queretaro, Palenque, Reynosa, and Tijuana. We  are providing people with legal services and information  including legal assistance for asylum in the U.S. and Mexico, legal representation to stay in Mexico, and Know Your Rights workshops  and mental health services and gender-based violence prevention as well. We also provide legal services in Matamoros. HIAS works with partners on the U.S. side of the border for true cross-border collaboration. 
     
  • HIAS is proud to have placed Border Fellows in non-profit legal organizations along the southern border to increase their capacity to provide legal representation to asylum seekers in and out of detention. Right now HIAS has five active fellows: one fellow is working out of our affiliate, JFS San Diego; one fellow is working with Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas; and one fellow is at South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) in Brownsville, Texas. Also, Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Tucson and Nogales, Arizona as well as Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) in Laredo, Texas now have HIAS Fellows.
     
  • We are still actively recruiting volunteers to help asylum seekers remotelySpanish-speaking and Haitian Kreyol-speaking individuals can volunteer to provide remote document translation to assist asylum seekers in preparing necessary evidence for their asylum cases. You will receive training on how to translate these documents, and must commit to completing three translations over six months. If you or anyone you know is interested, please apply here. Additionally, Spanish-speaking volunteers can join Proyecto Compañeros, a virtual accompaniment project serving asylum seekers enrolled in the MPP (“Remain in Mexico”) program. Volunteers will meet with their matches bi-weekly for up to three months and provide them with friendship, support, non-legal information, and translation assistance. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining Proyecto Compañeros as a volunteer, please complete an application. Find out more and sign up hereIf you are a lawyer interested in helping, please see our Pro Bono page to learn more.
     
  • You can access Know Your Rights videos for people in the MPP program here in: SpanishPortugueseMam (Indigenous Guatemalan language)K’iche/Quiché (Indigenous Guatemalan language)  Here is information in Spanish about the Prompt Asylum Claim Review (PACR) and Asylum Cooperation Agreement (ACA) programs.

  • We continue to mobilize the Jewish community to be a strong, persistent moral voice in support of fair, humane treatment of asylum seekers and we engage in asylum advocacy in Washington

Find out about ways to take action for refugees and asylum seekers here

See the stories below for how HIAS has been working to help asylum seekers at the border since the crisis started.


 

What To Know About the Migrant Buses — and HIAS’ Response

Oct 03, 2022

Since April 2022, tens of thousands of asylum seekers and migrants have been sent from Texas and Arizona to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. HIAS staff involved in the local and national response explain the situation and what HIAS is doing to help.

Recent Supreme Court Decisions Erode Migrants’ Rights

Jun 27, 2022

As refugee advocates anxiously wait for the Supreme Court to determine the fate of the “Remain in Mexico” program, a spate of recent decisions have harmful implications for migrants, including those seeking asylum in the U.S.

CEO Mark Hetfield Reflects on Visit to U.S.-Mexico Border

May 31, 2022

In a short video interview, HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield reflects on his recent visit to Mexico, how Title 42 affects the U.S. asylum system, and what HIAS is doing in Mexico to help asylum seekers.

Stranded in Mexico: The Human Cost of Title 42

May 18, 2022

Ana and James, asylum seekers from Mexico and Haiti, fled to the U.S.-Mexico border in search of safety. Forced to remain in the most dangerous areas of Mexico under Title 42, both found danger and violence instead.

Demonstrators Outside Supreme Court Demand End to MPP

Apr 26, 2022

At a rally outside the Supreme Court where oral arguments took place on whether the Biden administration can end the MPP policy, activists called for the termination of the cruel program.

After More Than Two Years, Title 42 Set to End May 23

Apr 08, 2022

After over two years of preventing asylum seekers from exercising their right to seek asylum at the U.S. border, Title 42, a World War II-era public health law invoked by the Trump administration ostensibly to prevent the spread of COVID-19, is finally set to end on May 23.

Title 42, a View From the Border in March 2022

Mar 25, 2022

Sue Kenney-Pfalzer and Border Fellows describe the impact of Title 42 on the organizations, systems and people at United States' southern border.

Stories from the Border: U.S. Policy Drives Unsafe Migration

Feb 02, 2022

Current U.S. asylum policies have exacerbated the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to experts speaking on the HIAS webinar: “Stories from the Border,” January 27.

MPP’s Return Will Make Bad Border Situation Worse

Oct 20, 2021

With the pending return of MPP, HIAS is on the ground in Mexico assessing the current situation.

Haitian Bridge Alliance and HIAS Fight Injustice Together

Oct 01, 2021

HIAS is supporting Haitian Bridge Alliance’s work in providing direct services to Haitian asylum seekers.

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