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Legal professionals, translators sought to help newest Haitian immigrants

The Haitian Times
By Juan B. Garcia

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents drop off migrants at a local gas station, after immigration processing on Sept. 21. These Haitian migrants must find their way to relatives’ homes in the U.S. and plan to seek asylum. Photo by Leonardo March

Two bar associations are seeking legal professionals to help Haitian immigrants arriving in the United States. Training will be provided.

The American Bar Association (ABA) seeks volunteer lawyers, paralegals, law students and translators to help Haitian immigrants complete applications for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through virtual clinics scheduled for Oct. 21 to 23 and Nov. 18 to 20. 

Pro bono volunteers must be available to work 3-hour shifts. Volunteer slots are open to all lawyers, and no prior immigration experience is required.

The ABA volunteer registration form is available here.

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Similarly, the National Bar Association (NBAseeks volunteer attorneys to provide pro bono legal service. Legal professionals who have experience in asylum cases, humanitarian parole, removal defense and know-your-rights presentations can apply using the Pro Bono Volunteer form.

The NBA said its effort is in partnership with the Haitian Bridge Alliance and other organizations to help Haitian migrants in detention centers or released to their families. 

“This will be a virtual effort and attorneys will be able to volunteer as many hours and accept as many cases as their schedule permits,” said Allyce Bailey, an NBA spokesperson. 

Bailey added that they want “as much help as we can garner to support this great initiative and welcome any and all volunteers willing to help.” 

The NBA volunteer registration form is available here.

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Training will be provided to volunteer lawyers upon request, both associations said.

For more information, visit the ABA Commission on Immigration website. For more information on how to work with the NBA, contact the NBA.

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