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


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:

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


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.

See What's New
November 2019

Vance Center Welcomes New African Legal Fellows

Link here
June 2019

Vance Center Joins Power Africa to Host its Private Sector Partners

Link here