An out of focus figure in a hooded sweatshirt stands behind a fence.

Asylum & Detention

IRAP is working to protect the integrity of the U.S. asylum system, particularly at the U.S.-Mexico border, which remains a flashpoint in the U.S. immigration debate. Several new policies, rules, and guidelines issued over the last few years have consistently and dramatically chipped away at the long held legal protections given to asylum-seekers arriving at our borders. Together with numerous partners, IRAP is developing strategic legal and policy solutions to mount a coordinated response to these injustices. For example, IRAP has brought challenges against the Trump administration’s rules curtailing the ability of asylum seekers to work legally in the United States and the harmful rule changes that gave asylum officers broader discretion to deport asylum seekers during the credible fear interview process.

IRAP has also launched a pilot program to provide remote legal aid to highly vulnerable asylum seekers, including those with mental and physical disabilities, at the El Paso-Juárez border in partnership with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC). This program will facilitate the delivery of legal services to a region with a severe lack of access to counsel and allow us to identify issues in the asylum process ripe for litigation.