Keep Families Together

Launched in September 2018 in response to the U.S. government’s “Zero Tolerance” policy and following and international co-counseling model, the Vance Center’s Keep Families Together (KFT) initiative connects foreign pro bono counsel to U.S. pro bono immigration counsel representing children, families, and asylum seekers.

As of 2023, the Vance Center collaborates with nearly 150 U.S. and foreign corporate law firms, pro bono clearinghouses, non-profit organizations, bar associations and university legal clinics to support the legal representation of about 330 separated children and families, leading to many reunifications and permanent forms of immigration relief in the U.S.

Thanks to its clearinghouse partners in the Pro Bono Network of the Americas and beyond, Keep Families Together operates in partnership with lawyers in 31 countries around the globe: Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, Romania, Spain, Turkey, and Venezuela.



Through KFT, foreign pro bono lawyers obtain vital evidence from to support children & families’ home countries, including (but not limited to):

  • Birth certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Criminal records
  • Medical & hospital records
  • Exit documentation (passports)

Foreign pro bono lawyers also:

  • Draft witness statements, affidavits, and Power of Attorney (POA) documents
  • Amend birth certificates and identity documents before relevant courts and civil registries
  • Perform process of service to parents or family abroad
  • Obtain expert testimony on foreign and transnational family and law issues
  • Represent children and families in domestic family law issues (adoption, guardianship, custody, etc.)


If you would like to request assistance through Keep Families Together, please fill out this application form.


Keep Families Together accepts pro bono referrals from corporate law firms, non-profit organizations, professional associations & university legal clinics. It has accepted referrals from almost 80 such entities in the United States. Current partners include:

Corporate Law Firms

Baker McKenzie
Cahill Gordon & Reindel
Carlton Fields
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP
Davis Polk Wardwell LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Desmarais LLP
Eversheds Sutherland LLP
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP
Freshfields, Bruckhaus & Deringer
Fried, Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobsen LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Greenberg Traurig
Herrick Feinstein LLP
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Latham & Watkins
Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Mayer Brown LLP
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Radler, Parks, White & Alexander LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Sidley Austin
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Troutman Pepper
White & Steele, P.C.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher
Williams & Connolly LLP

Non-Profit Organization, Professional Associations & University Legal Clinics

Al Otro Lado
American Bar Association-Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA)
American Bar Association- South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)
Bronx Defenders
Brooklyn Defender Services
CAIR Coalition
Catholic Charities Community Services
Catholic Charities Legal Services – Miami
Catholic Charities of New York
Catholic Migration Services
Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia
CUNY School of Law- Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic
Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services
Her Justice
Hofstra University School of Law- Deportation Defense Clinic
Human Rights First
Immigrant Justice Corps
Immigrant Rights Project at the University of Tulsa College of Law
Immigration Equality
Immigration Justice Campaign
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
Legal Aid Society of New York
Legal Aid Society of North Carolina
Legal Services NYC
Lutheran Social Services of New York
Make the Road – New Jersey
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)
New York City Anti-Violence Project
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
PAIR Project
Pangea Legal Services
Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York
Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
Rutgers University School of Law – Child Advocacy Clinic
Safe Passage Project
Sanctuary for Families
Seton Hall University School of Law- Center for Social Justice
Take Root Justice
Texas Civil Rights Project
The Door
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
University of Tulsa College of Law- Immigrant Rights Project
Urban Justice Center
Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights

For more information or to make a referral, please contact Romina Canessa and Astrid Reyes at

See What's New
April 2023

Vance Center Honors Law Firms’ Contributions to Keep Families Together

Link here
November 2022

Vance Center Engages at the International Bar Association

Link here