CLINIC Welcomes Isabel Saavedra to the CARA Pro Bono Project

Preconceived Notions Shattered by Dilley
July 16, 2015
Filipino Immigrants in the United States
July 20, 2015

CLINIC is pleased to welcome Isabel Saavedra to the CARA Pro Bono Project to assist the women and children detained at the Dilley, Texas detention facility (Southern Texas Family Residential Center). As an attorney for CLINIC, Isabel will primarily assist in project management and the coordination of volunteers. We pray for her important work and that of Brian Hoffman, Lead CARA Project Attorney, and project volunteers as they continue to facilitate due process for vulnerable asylees on the ground.

A partnership between CLINIC, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for education and Legal Services (RAICES), and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, CARA responds to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) expansion of family detention. In light of weakened due process protections, CARA advocates for the humane treatment of mothers and children. CLINIC and fellow immigrant advocates call for an immediate end to family detention and, in its stay, bring justice to Dilley by providing direct representation to detained women and children. Thanks to the long hours and efforts of staff, volunteer attorneys, and law students, CARA represents women from arrival at the detention center to credible fear interviews, Immigration Judge review and bond adjudication.

Isabel’s professional and personal experiences compel her commitment to help undocumented immigrants facing the complexity of the U.S. immigration system. Notably, as a student attorney, she represented a mother and her adult daughter in separate deportation proceedings before the Immigration Court. Both were victims of domestic violence and had resided in the United States for years. Neither had disclosed to the other that they were victims of abuse, however. While upholding her duty of confidentiality to each client, she successfully obtained the requested relief from the Immigration Judge and both clients are now lawful permanent residents.

Since that time, Isabel worked at Immigration Legal Services of Long Island (ILSOLI) in New York assisting immigrants in all areas of family-based immigration law. At ILSOLI, she gained a broad knowledge of naturalization, adjustment of status, discretionary waivers, relief for survivors of domestic violence and unaccompanied children, and cancellation of removal. Based on her experience with detained and non-detained clients, Isabel is poised to hit the ground running with her work with mothers and children at the Southern Texas Residential Center.

We look forward to the continued contributions of Isabel and the CARA team and extend our thanks to those offering their time and talents to promote respect and compassion for at-risk asylees families.

For more information on the CARA Pro Bono Project and how you can help, visit:

Source: Catholic Charities