Bakken Law renews its commitment to zealous defense of immigrant rights by Torgrim Landsverk

Bakken Law is committed to defending all immigrants and their rights, now and in the uncertain future before us. We are proud to say that attorney Jamie Crawford lived out the firm’s commitment to immigrant rights when she traveled to the South Texas Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas to volunteer for the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project during election week. The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project is a joint effort between immigrant rights organizations CLINIC, AILA, RAICES, and the American Immigration Council. Go to the CARA Project’s website for more information about its partners and how to get involved. 

The South Texas Family Detention Center currently imprisons about 1800 women and children. All of the detainees at the Center are women and children who fled the rampant violence and pervasive corruption of their home countries to seek asylum in the United States. Upon arrival at the border, many of the women and children were held in brutally cold temporary holding facilities known as “hieleras,” or ice-boxes, and denied access to basic necessities for days before being transferred to the South Texas Family Detention Center.

Jamie and her fellow volunteer attorneys and advocates met individually with the women and children detained in Dilley to discuss their rights and to prepare them for Credible Fear Interviews with USCIS Asylum Officers. Credible Fear Interviews, or CFIs, are the first step in the asylum process for applicants arriving at the border. CFIs are often intense and vulnerable experiences, requiring the women and children to share their stories of abuse, violence, trauma, and fear with a stranger who has the power to make a decision that could open the door to asylum or slam it shut. Jamie, the CARA Pro Bon Project staff, and the other volunteers worked 12- 13 hour days providing competent and compassionate legal advice and representation.

Bakken Law is proud of Jamie’s dedication, and is inspired to fight harder than ever for the rights of immigrants. 

By BAKKEN LAW - Timothy R. Bakken, 19.November 2016.