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Urgent and Available Cases

NIJC's network of pro bono attorneys represent asylum seekers, unaccompanied immigrant children, survivors of domestic abuse and low-income individuals applying for naturalization. NIJC screens all cases to ensure individuals are eligible for relief and to prioritize individuals and families who lack the private resources needed to obtain representation elsewhere.

NIJC pro bono attorneys receive training before taking on their first case, and ongoing technical assistance and case support as necessary throughout the life of each case.

Asylum: A Honduran mother and daughter seek asylum after suffering repeated gender-based violence

A. and her daughter speak Spanish and live in Northern Illinois

As a child, an older cousin raped A. As a young woman, A.’s partner physically and verbally abused her over the course of several years. Once separated from her abusive partner, an armed MS-13 gang member demanded she become his girlfriend since she no longer had a husband. The MS-13 gang member threatened he would take her young daughter if A. refused. A. fled Honduras with her daughter in 2019. NIJC filed their asylum applications with the immigration court. A.'s daughter is independently eligible for asylum but is a derivative on A.'s case. All documentation to their cases will be due 15 days prior to their individual merits hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

Asylum: A man from Nigeria seeks protection based on his sexual orientation

M. speaks speaks English and lives in Western Illinois

As a teenager, when M.’s parents discovered he had boyfriend, they beat him severely and strictly monitored him, cutting him off from friends. A year later, he escaped his house to attend a party with other LGBTQ individuals, but the party was raided by police. He was arrested and beaten and only released after his family paid a bribe. Several years later, classmates raped M., threatened to kill him and told him to stop being gay. Soon after he was diagnosed with HIV- which we was told is punishment for being gay. M. entered the United States on an F1 student visa and is currently enrolled in a business program. His asylum application should be filed with the Asylum Office prior to his one-year filing deadline on July 27, 2022. His affidavit and other supporting documentation will need to be filed at least a week prior to his asylum interview, which could be scheduled four to six weeks after the submission of his asylum application.

SIJS: Two young teenage brothers seek protection after being threatened in Honduras and after their mother abandoned them

M. and N. live with their father in Chicago and speak Spanish

M. and N. were abandoned by their mother four years ago. When M. and N. were toddlers, their father came to the United States. M. and N. were left in the care of their paternal grandparents. While in the United States, M. and N.'s father would communicate with them often and send them money. Gangs in Honduras threatened both M. and N. and so they came to the United States seeking protection and to be reunited with their father in Illinois. A pro bono attorney will need to file a petition for sole allocation of parental responsibilities on behalf of M. and N's father, and obtain an order finding that M. and N.'s reunification with their mother is not viable due to her abandonment, and that it is not in M. and N.'s best interest to return to Honduras.

 

"As a first-year associate, one of the first matters I worked on was a pro bono asylum case with NIJC. Although I was a brand-new attorney, NIJC provided tremendous support – and we were ultimately successful in securing asylum for our client. That moment will never be matched. It was truly special to share that experience with our client. Afterwards, our client called his mother to share the good news with her and I had an opportunity to speak with her. She was overcome with emotion because she knew her son would now be safe. This life-changing moment (for our client, his family, and me) could not have happened without NIJC."
Lizzy Westrope, DLA Piper LLP
 

Pro Bono Spotlight

Thanks to the support of more than 2,000 pro bono attorneys from the nation's leading law firms, NIJC has made critical advances in the lives of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. NIJC provides legal services to more than 9,000 individuals each year and maintains a success rate of 90 percent in obtaining asylum for those fleeing persecution in their home countries.

 

Events

NIJC offers a wide range of immigration law trainings and other opportunities for attorneys to engage with the organization's mission. An attorney taking a case for the first time must attend one of NIJC's quarterly trainings.

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Federal Litigation

NIJC and its pro bono attorneys are on the vanguard of federal impact litigation and advocacy, setting positive precedents for people seeking human rights protections within the United States and defending against the administration's efforts to undermine access to due process.