Every year at the end of October, legal service providers come together to celebrate Pro Bono Week. It is a dedicated opportunity to acknowledge the amazing work that our volunteers do—work that is the foundation of the American Immigration Council’s Immigration Justice Campaign. In an immigration system that is set up to make it almost impossible for certain groups of people to win, pro bono volunteers are one of the bastions helping overwhelmed legal service providers hold the line for due process and justice.
From the solo practitioner doing pro bono work to learn a new skill, to the corporate law firm partner who has incorporated pro bono as part of their practice for two decades, our volunteers run the gamut. Everyone makes a difference—from the law students interpreting between classes and homework to the community members who volunteer simply because they care. Every single volunteer is integral to the Justice Campaign’s work—and we thank them for their time and dedication.
Since its creation in 2017, the Justice Campaign and our volunteers have walked alongside hundreds of immigrants in their fight for justice and due process in the United States.
This year alone, over 200 Justice Campaign volunteers have:
- Worked on 221 cases for detained individuals in 14 detention centers across the country.
- Worked on 335 cases for non-detained individuals across 32 states of residence.
- Served clients from 30 countries of origin who speak 19 different languages.
And with these volunteers’ help:
- 71% of clients have won asylum or other relief in immigration court.
- 85% of clients asking for release from detention have won that release from an immigration judge.
Nationally in 2022, only 40% of people have won relief in immigration court and only 32% won their release from an immigration judge. Those numbers are even lower for people without an attorney. Detained immigrants without an attorney have only had about a 16% chance of winning relief and 13% chance of winning release this year.
This small example of Justice Campaign clients and volunteers shows the immediate impact that pro bono work has on clients’ lives. Without the dedication of our pro bono volunteers, many of these individuals would have had to move forward alone. Statistically speaking, that means most probably would have lost.
The past several years have been difficult for most of the world in so many ways. And yet, pro bono volunteers continue showing up every day, allowing the Justice Campaign to continue serving clients, help people get out of detention, fight their cases—and for many, win. To the hundreds of volunteers who have worked with the Justice Campaign, this year and every year, thank you. We could not do this work without you.