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ABA’s Commission on Immigration Creates Several Helpful Resources & Trainings

CILA is a project of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Immigration. The ABA’s Commission on Immigration has created some wonderful written resources and recorded trainings to support advocates in the field. CILA wanted to uplift their work and share the resources to further help attorneys, legal staff, and pro bono attorneys, since many of the materials will also help those working on behalf of immigrant youth. The resources are all free and available online. Check out the resources for advocates and for pro bono programs below!

Resources to Help Advocates

COI TPS for Removal Proceedings recorded training: Overview of TPS and best practices for representing TPS-eligible families who are in removal proceedings on the dedicated docket. November 2021.

COI Ethics of Representing Families on the Dedicated Docket: 12-page ethics guide that provides best practices for representing family groups, including conducting intakes, conflicts of interest, and special issues when representing spouses and children. Updated February 2022.

COI & CILA Representing Children and Families in Immigration Matters recorded training: Three panels on how to best represent children and families. The first panel provides an overview of key forms of legal relief. The second panel is an overview of representing an individual in removal proceedings and before USCIS. And the third panel provides best practices when working with families and children. March 2022.

COI Mechanics of Immigration Court Series:

  • Part I: The Master Calendar Hearing recorded training: How to determine if your client is in immigration removal proceedings and how to secure the relevant case file, appearances in immigration court, what to expect at a Master Calendar Hearing (including a mock hearing), and how to use WebEx for court appearances. February 2022.
  • Part II: Follow-Up recorded Q&A: In a follow-up video to Part II, panelists answer questions from the Q&A that they did not have time to address during the initial webinar. February 2022.
  • Part III: The Individual Hearing recorded training: How to prepare materials for the individual hearing, how to anticipate and respond to objections, tips for direct and cross-examinations, how to handle interruptions by the immigration judge, and how to best preserve the record for appeal. March 2022.

COI The Lifeguard is Drowning: Identifying Burnout in Immigration Practitioners recorded training: Concrete ways to help immigration practitioners experiencing burnout and secondary trauma, to help them build sustainable careers in this field. April 2022.

COI Prosecutorial Discretion Practice Advisory: 12-page practice advisory that includes an overview of the various PD Memos and explains best practices for how to request PD and what types of discretion to seek. Includes a template PD request. Updated April 2022.

COI Practice Guide: Seeking Requests for Expedited Adjudications, Short-Notice Lists, and Case Assistance: 12-page practice advisory providing information on how to expedite cases with USCIS, short-notice lists at the Asylum Office, and case assistance from other government entities. June 2022.

Resources to Help Pro Bono Programs

COI webinar and blog post: Pro Bono Best Practices Part I and Pro Bono Best Practices: Six Takeaways for a Successful Program regarding how to structure a pro bono program to meet the needs of vulnerable clients, including how to conduct intakes and build pro bono infrastructure, recruiting and retaining volunteers, and how to best support volunteers.

COI webinar and blog post: Pro Bono Best Practices Part II: Crafting Bite-Sized Pro Bono Opportunities for Immigration Services and Pro Bono Best Practices Part 2: Key Takeaways for Developing Bite-Sized Pro Bono Projects featuring how to create “bite-sized,” limited scope volunteer opportunities to engage volunteers in immigration cases.