University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Informational meeting on Immigration Detention Service Project

Monday, March 11, 2019
12:30pm – 1:30pm

Law School
Chase 210

Professor Bauer will be hosting an informational meeting regarding the Immigration Detention Service Project trip that will take place over the summer. If you are interested but can’t attend or if you have any questions, please email Profs. Valeria Gomez and Jon Bauer,,

Want to help those fleeing persecution and put your legal education to good use? Join us for the 2019 Immigration Detention Service Project – an opportunity to provide much-needed assistance to asylum-seekers held in family detention.

Thousands of people fleeing violence and persecution from Central America and many other parts of the world, including families with children, are held in immigration detention facilities, often in remote areas far from attorneys. It is very difficult for detained asylum seekers to get the legal help they need in order to present their claims for asylum effectively. Without legal help, many run the risk of being send back to face grave risks of persecution in their home countries. For a fourth year, the Law School and School of Social Work are conducting an Immigration Detention Service Project to assist detained asylum seekers. This year, we will be going to a new location – the Berks Family Detention Center, located near Reading, PA – to work with families with children in detention.

Students in this project, under the supervision of law professors or volunteer attorneys, will help the asylum seekers prepare for initial “credible fear” hearings that determine whether they will be able to stay in the U.S. to pursue their asylum claims, and provide representation in that process. Law students will also do a variety of other legal work, which, depending on needs, may include helping asylum applicants who have successfully made it through the initial screening process to seek release from detention on bond, and helping to document detention conditions in order to address systemic problems. Some social work professors/students will join us to assist in meeting the detainees’ legal and psychosocial needs. Our project will be working in partnership with ALDEA - The People’s Justice Center, a non-profit immigrant advocacy organization that works with detainees at Berks and at another immigration detention facility located nearby in York, PA.

From 2016 to 2018, the Immigration Detention Project worked with detainees at York during spring break week. This year, the trip will take place shortly after the end of classes – during the first week in June, probably leaving on Sunday, June 2 and returning either the evening of Friday, June 7 or on Saturday, June 8. Instead of York, our base of operations will be the Berks Family Detention Facility (though depending on needs, we may do some work at York as well). The asylum seekers the project has helped in the last three years have included:

Numerous Central American women who escaped from situations of severe domestic violence, sexual


Jon Bauer;

Law School (primary)

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