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.


 

Title 42: Over a Million Expulsions and No End in Sight

Sep 23, 2021

Title 42 has largely closed America’s borders to refugees and asylum seekers. When the pandemic hit, Trump administration invoked the 75-year-old public health law that, they claimed, gave immigration authorities the power to expel migrants without providing them their legally mandated opportunity to seek protection in the U.S.

Joint Letter to President Biden, Secretary Mayorkas and Attorney General Garland on Title 42

Sep 20, 2021

HIAS, along with 70 other organizations, has signed a letter demanding that the Biden administration "immediately end its embrace, defense, and advancement of illegal and cruel Trump administration policies that harm families and people seeking protection and bolster xenophobic rhetoric by treating people seeking protection as threats."

The Tragedy of "Remain in Mexico"

Sep 17, 2021

For 70,000 people, the U.S. Supreme Court’s late August “Remain in Mexico” decision is a tragedy beyond their control.

We Still Need to Help at the U.S-Mexico Border

Jun 29, 2021

HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield visited the HIAS teams in Monterrey, Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana, and Mexicali who are helping hundreds of asylum seekers.

HIAS Welcomes The End of 'Remain In Mexico' Policy

Jun 02, 2021

On June 1, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas issued a memorandum officially terminating the Remain in Mexico program. Formally referred to as the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, the Remain in Mexico program forced more than 71,000 asylum seekers to wait in dangerous areas...

Pressure Grows On Biden To Reverse Title 42

May 27, 2021

The use of the harsh Trump era policy is gaining wider attention — and earning more and more criticism.

One Man's Journey Is Every Man's Story

May 24, 2021

Yeinier's journey from Cuba to the United States took 22 months; with HIAS’ help, his story had a happy ending, but it came at a high price.

Listen: Podcast Recounts Asylum Seekers' Border Nightmare

May 11, 2021

In the latest episode of Crossing Borders, we hear from asylum seekers trapped at the U.S.-Mexico border and the HIAS workers trying to get them to safety.

Good News and Bad News at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Apr 07, 2021

Some asylum seekers trapped in Mexico are finally being allowed into the United States, but other border policies are still causing serious harm to people in need of safety.

The Real Story at the U.S.-Mexico Border

What is the status of human rights at the border? Who is able to seek safety in our country, and who is being turned away from seeking asylum?

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