Keep Families Together
Launched in September 2018 in response to the U.S. government’s “Zero Tolerance” policy, the Vance Center’s Keep Families Together initiative connects Latin American pro bono counsel to assist U.S. immigration lawyers representing children, families, and asylum seekers.
Through its clearinghouse partners in the Pro Bono Network of the Americas, the Vance Center has enlisted 45 pro bono attorneys from 10 law ﬁrms in Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Mexico to support the legal representation of dozens of separated families.
In–country pro bono lawyers obtain vital evidence to support families’ reuniﬁcation and domestic immigration relief in the United States, including (but not limited to):
- Birth certiﬁcates
- Death certiﬁcates
- Criminal & medical records
In-country pro bono lawyers also:
- Draft witness statements & aﬃdavits
- Facilitate DNA tests to establish parental relationships
- Serve parents with custody documents
OUR IMMIGRATION COUNCIL PARTNERS
Keep Families Together accepts referrals from law ﬁrms and non-proﬁt immigration providers and has collaborated with 17 such entities to assist separated families in the U.S. Current non-proﬁt partners include:
- The Bronx Defenders
- Catholic Charities of New York
- The Door
- Human Rights First
- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
- Legal Aid of New York City
- Safe Passage Project
- Sanctuary For Families
- Texas Civil Rights Project
If you are a non-proﬁt immigration provider or law ﬁrm and need local pro bono counsel in Latin America or elsewhere, please contact Director of Pro Bono Partnerships, Jorge Escobedo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With support from the Tinker Foundation , the Vance Center convened 45 immigration & family separation experts from across the United States and Latin America in a workshop at the New York City Bar Association in June 2019. With immigration provider organizations, law ﬁrm pro bono counsel, and clearinghouse partners in the Pro Bono Network of the Americas in attendance, we identiﬁed new ways to further the Keep Families Together initiative and are in the process of implementing this expansion.