Human Rights First Partners with Robins Kaplan to Provide Representation to Refugees Detained in California

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today announced that it will partner with Robins Kaplan to provide free legal representation to refugees detained at Adelanto Detention Facility in Southern California.

“For decades Human Rights First has provided free legal representation to refugees in the United States who have fled violence and persecution. Over the past year the Trump Administration has engaged in a systemic assault on the asylum system, making our assistance more necessary than ever. We are thrilled to pair our expertise with the help of Robins Kaplan to aid refugees in Southern California who simply wish to live in safety, and instead are languishing in prisons,” said Human Rights First’s Jenna Gilbert.

The initiative at Adelanto is part of Human Rights First’s Freedom for Detained Refugees Project, in which the organization will: partner with law firms across the country to provide pro bono representation to detained asylum seekers; challenge the Trump Administration’s detention policies in court; and, press Congress to conduct oversight and protect refugee families from incarceration.

“Robins Kaplan is committed to leveling the playing field for those who lack access to justice,” said Logan Drew, Robins Kaplan’s Pro Bono Chair. “Navigating the legal system shouldn’t be a barrier to those fleeing violence in their home countries. It is an honor for our firm to work alongside Human Rights First to provide pro bono support and assistance for these detained refugees.”

The Adelanto Detention Facility is one of the largest adult immigration detention centers in the country and can house nearly 2000 men and women, some of whom have been separated from their children. It is run by GEO, a private prison company that receives a fee of up to $112 a day from the government to detain an individual.

Human Rights First notes that detention of asylum seekers is wholly unnecessary to promote court appearance rates. The organization’s reporting shows that immigrants appear for their immigration court hearings at high rates, particularly when they have legal representation, case management support, and accurate information related to the court process. Families and children with legal counsel are in compliance nearly one hundred percent of the time. Data shows, for example, that 98 percent of children in immigration proceedings whose cases initiated in 2014 and who had obtained counsel were in full compliance with their court appearance obligations as of December 2017.


Published on August 13, 2018


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