The American College of Trial Lawyers, or ACTL, has selected Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice as its 2018 Emil Gumpert Award recipient. The center is being recognized along with its partner, the Dilley Pro Bono Project, or DPBP, for providing pro bono legal counsel to asylum-seeking women with children in Dilley.
The Feerick Center will receive a $100,000 grant to assist with providing remote access to legal services for asylum-seeking women with children in South Texas.
The Feerick Center and DPBP will develop a remote legal assistance program to meet the challenging legal service needs of women and children at the South Texas Family Residential Center, or STFRC, in Dilley. The program will supplement onsite efforts by volunteer attorneys and DPBP staff, particularly the initial screening in the asylum application process.
The DPBP is an initiative that seeks to enhance and expand access to legal services for women and children who are detained at the STFRC. More than 100,000 immigrant mothers and children have sought asylum along the southern U.S. border since 2012.
“Since 2012, the numbers of women with children seeking asylum along the southern U.S. border have increased exponentially, and these asylum seekers have a legitimate need for legal services,” said Dora Galactos, adjunct professor of law and executive director of the Feerick Center for Social Justice, in a press release.
STFRC is the nation’s largest immigration detention facility and currently holds approximately 2,200 mothers and children. The center has the capacity for 2,400. DPBP estimates that since 2014, approximately 30,000 women and children have been detained there.