For the past two summers, HIRC student Brianna Rennix (JD ’18) has traveled to Texas to represent mothers and children struggling to obtain humanitarian protection. As a part of the CARA Pro Bono Project, Brianna worked alongside immigration lawyers to provide free legal aid to women and children at family detention centers. Read about her experience in Current Affairs Magazine:
“When women and children first began appearing at the border in significant numbers, during Obama’s presidency, they were detained and processed in a highly clandestine manner. Women, along with their children, were locked up without access to legal counsel. Exhausted, traumatized, terrified, most of them were rapidly deported without any substantive opportunity to appeal the decision to a judge. The purpose of this high-speed deportation mill was to get people out the country as quickly and unpleasantly as possible, in the hopes that rumors of this poor reception would deter future border-crossers.
Then some immigration lawyers got wind of the situation and decided to set up permanent shop right next to the family detention centers. Since the lawyers got involved, rates of positive credible fear determinations have gone up exponentially, indicating that a lot of the people who were deported under the earlier system almost certainly had viable asylum claims.”