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Volunteer & Get Involved

Immigration Assistance

Human Rights Defenders Project

As immigration enforcement ramps up, court dockets for detained immigrants will likely increase rapidly, as will the need for monitoring and representation in court. The Minnesota Detention Project already coordinates volunteer immigration lawyers to represent immigrants at initial hearings in Detained Court when immigrants first appear before a judge after apprehension by federal authorities. The Human Rights Defender Project will link you with one of these immigration attorneys that you will shadow at Detained Court. It will also provide you with training to observe court proceedings and document human rights concerns.

  1. Watch the introductory video presented by Michele Garnett McKenzie, Deputy Director and Advocacy Director at The Advocates for Human Rights:

  2. Sign up for detained court observation times below. After you sign up, you will be provided with more detailed information.

This project is being coordinated by The Advocates for Human Rights, Robins Kaplan LLP and the UMN Law School Binger Center for New Americans. 

Local and national immigrant advocacy organizations working in this area:

Advocates for Human Rights – The Advocates are looking for attorneys to represent asylum seekers whose cases have become more urgent in light of 2017 events.  Similarly, they have a need for pro bono assistance for current clients and former clients who have family members affected by President Trumps's Executive Order. If volunteer attorneys are interested in such work they can simply say so in the “Type of case you are interested in:” part of the volunteer registration form. (The Advocates provides training, support, and mentors for attorneys who have not yet taken on these cases previously.)

Immigration Law Center of MN ILCM’s Pro Bono Project offers several volunteer opportunities for legal professionals to assist low-income immigrants and refugees with their immigration-related cases. No immigration experience is required to volunteer. ILCM provides training and mentorship. For information about ILCM’s Pro bono Project, and how to get involved, you can visit their webpage at

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid

Volunteer Lawyers Network

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services 

The Center for New Americans

AILA Minn/Dak (Regional chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association)  

National Immigration Law Center

ACLU of Minnesota

International Refugee Assistance Project

Other resources for attorneys rendering pro bono services in this area:

Fastcase has put out a list of immigration resources (including the executive order, recent court orders, and relevant case law and statutes) available here. (MSBA members have free access to Fastcase and the listed materials.)

Resources for the Executive Order on Immigration 

Lawyers Fighting Civil Rights and Immigration Issues