Topic: U.S. Border Response

HIAS works on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to provide services to asylum seekers. We are also providing extensive community education to asylum seekers, including “Know Your Rights” presentations, and remote meetings with experienced asylum attorneys.

  • HIAS has offices in Mexico in Juarez, Matamoros, Mexicali, Mexico City, Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, Queretaro, Palenque, Reynosa, and Tijuana. We  are providing people with legal services and information — including legal assistance for asylum in the U.S. and Mexico, legal representation to stay in Mexico, and Know Your Rights workshops — and mental health services and gender-based violence prevention as well. We also provide legal services in Matamoros. HIAS works with partners on the U.S. side of the border for true cross-border collaboration.
  • HIAS is proud to have placed Border Fellows in non-profit legal organizations along the southern border to increase their capacity to provide legal representation to asylum seekers in and out of detention. Right now HIAS has five active fellows: one fellow is working out of our affiliate, JFS San Diego; one fellow is working with Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, Texas; and one fellow is at South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) in Brownsville, Texas. Also, Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Tucson and Nogales, Arizona as well as Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) in Laredo, Texas now have HIAS Fellows.
  • We are still actively recruiting volunteers to help asylum seekers remotely. Spanish-speaking and Haitian Kreyol-speaking individuals can volunteer to provide remote document translation to assist asylum seekers in preparing necessary evidence for their asylum cases. You will receive training on how to translate these documents, and must commit to completing three translations over six months. If you or anyone you know is interested, please apply here. Additionally, Spanish-speaking volunteers can join Proyecto Compañeros, a virtual accompaniment project serving asylum seekers enrolled in the MPP (“Remain in Mexico”) program. Volunteers will meet with their matches bi-weekly for up to three months and provide them with friendship, support, non-legal information, and translation assistance. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining Proyecto Compañeros as a volunteer, please complete an application. Find out more and sign up here. If you are a lawyer interested in helping, please see our Pro Bono page to learn more.
  • You can access Know Your Rights videos for people in the MPP program here in: SpanishPortugueseMam (Indigenous Guatemalan language)K’iche/Quiché (Indigenous Guatemalan language)  Here is information in Spanish about the Prompt Asylum Claim Review (PACR) and Asylum Cooperation Agreement (ACA) programs.
  • We continue to mobilize the Jewish community to be a strong, persistent moral voice in support of fair, humane treatment of asylum seekers and we engage in asylum advocacy in Washington.

Find out about ways to take action for refugees and asylum seekers here.

See the stories below for how HIAS has been working to help asylum seekers at the border since the crisis started.

85 results

Jul 14, 2020

Opinion: We Could be Witnessing the End of Asylum

Jul 14, 2020

Opinion: We Could be Witnessing the End of Asylum We can’t let the American tradition of asylum die on our watch.

May 26, 2020

Continuing the Hard Legal Work in a Time of Limbo

May 26, 2020

Continuing the Hard Legal Work in a Time of Limbo The U.S.-Mexico border is effectively closed and the asylum system has ground to a halt, but there is still plenty of work to do on behalf of asylum seekers.

May 20, 2020

COVID-19 Shows The Need For Strong Refugee Advocacy

May 20, 2020

COVID-19 Shows The Need For Strong Refugee Advocacy From border policies to stimulus payments, HIAS is working to secure the rights and needs of refugees amid the pandemic.

May 5, 2020

A Global Perspective on the Modern Perils of Seeking Asylum

May 5, 2020

A Global Perspective on the Modern Perils of Seeking Asylum The international human rights system is fragile—HIAS will continue to represent, advocate, and litigate for something better and more rights-compliant.

Apr 2, 2020

Asylum Seekers Fear Staying in Mexico More Than Coronavirus

Apr 2, 2020

Asylum Seekers Fear Staying in Mexico More Than Coronavirus As countries around the world close borders and implement restrictions in response to coronavirus, asylum seekers are waiting even longer to access courts and other protections guaranteed by law.

Mar 27, 2020

HIAS’ Pro Bono Program Adapts to Life With COVID-19

Mar 27, 2020

HIAS’ Pro Bono Program Adapts to Life With COVID-19 Thanks to the generosity of our pro bono attorneys and our resilient staff in our HIAS office in Mexico, we continue to serve clients remotely.

Feb 12, 2020

HIAS Video Helps Asylum Seekers Know Their Rights

Feb 12, 2020

HIAS Video Helps Asylum Seekers Know Their Rights HIAS, along with the Catholic Legal Immigiration Network (CLINIC) and the Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham University, has created a comprehensive “Know Your Rights” video for asylum seekers.

Feb 4, 2020

Austin Assembly Rallies Support For Asylum Seekers

Feb 4, 2020

Austin Assembly Rallies Support For Asylum Seekers The Austin Jews for Refugees Assembly brought the Austin Jewish community together with elected officials and more than 35 local organizations.

Jan 16, 2020

Laptops and Lawyers Can Help Asylum Seekers in Mexico

Jan 16, 2020

Laptops and Lawyers Can Help Asylum Seekers in Mexico HIAS joined a pilot program to help asylum seekers find and work with U.S.-based lawyers via teleconferencing in Ciudad Juárez.

Nov 7, 2019

Swimming to Mexico: Helping HIAS One Stroke at a Time

Nov 7, 2019

Swimming to Mexico: Helping HIAS One Stroke at a Time Melinda Menzer swam across the US-Mexico border to raise awareness and money for HIAS.