The uproar over migrant families separated at the US border has lead to law firm Arent Fox executing a firmwide initiative to provide legal services to the parents and children seeking to be reunited.
An alert from the firm’s PR people indicated that Arent Fox was sending sending volunteers to Texas and other areas where families have been incarcerated, working closely with Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) in Texas, and the Southern Poverty Law Center in other areas of the South.
“To go beyond what can be done in person, the firm and RAICES will train lawyers to provide remote pro bono support by participating telephonically in hearings and preparing papers in matters that do not require a lawyer to be physically present,” the statement said.
“In addition, Arent Fox launched an internal fundraising campaign to provide financial support to Central American Legal Assistance, the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition, Catholic Charities, the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project and other organizations in our community that are involved on the front lines.”
“The grassroots reaction to this crisis across the legal industry is inspiring,” said M. Scott Peeler, (right) who helped lead the fundraising efforts. “At Arent Fox we have received an overwhelming response and more volunteers opt-in every day. This crisis at our border clearly motivates the better angels of our nature. We are proud to support this nationwide initiative.”
“Arent Fox has long believed that lawyers have a special obligation to support access to justice,” said Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair Jon Bouker. “I am proud of the response we have seen from attorneys across the firm. This is another example of our unwavering pledge to provide pro bono counsel to those in need.”
The firm statement also aims to provide research, policy, and impact litigation support to organizations that seek to legally challenge administration policy that alters the character of immigration at the Southern border and elsewhere, such as limiting the basis for those who seek asylum in the United States, including the separation of migrant families.