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 remotely. Spanish-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 here. If 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: Spanish, Portuguese, Mam (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.