The BIA Pro Bono Appeals Project matches vulnerable immigrants with pro bono counsel to defend their cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). One of the nation's most successful pro bono initiatives, the BIA Project partners with attorneys and law school clinics to provide pro bono legal representation to indigent immigrants.
Mission: Advocacy tackles problems faced by low-income immigrants and CLINIC member agencies that can only be resolved through advocacy, education, pro bono representation, litigation, and media. Advocacy identifies legal trends and issues affecting immigrants and pursues responsive solutions. Advocacy prioritizes its advocacy agenda in concert with its member agencies. It also collaborates with Migration and Refugee Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). At the national level, Advocacy focuses on administrative advocacy with officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). At the local level, Advocacy supports the efforts of advocates working to combat state and local anti-immigrant measures. To increase representation to detained immigrants, Advocacy coordinates the Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project. Because documentation and media coverage of the human impact of U.S. immigration polices are crucial to advocacy efforts that seek to create a more just immigration system, Advocacy documents and facilitates media coverage of the challenges facing immigrants served by its network. It also provides support to its member and colleague agencies engaged in media outreach.
In 2007, CLINIC developed a new project to support advocates working to address the growing number of anti-immigrant measures proposed and introduced at the state and local levels. After the collapse of comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, approximately 500 immigration related bills were introduced by state legislators. By 2008, the number of proposed immigration-related bills had tripled to 1,562. Nearly every state legislature had introduced a bill related to immigration.