Earlier this summer, the MBF awarded a grant of $8,360 to support the recently launched ACLU Immigrants Protection Project of Western Mass. The program aims to mobilize and strengthen the pro bono capacity of the local bar to help immigrant families in the region during these times of fear and uncertainty.
This grant is the first ever to be awarded from the MBF's Civil Justice Fund, which was created to support civil legal services to those in need and to which members of the bar contribute in accordance with the SJC's Professional Conduct Code's Rule 6.1. We are grateful to everyone who helped to build this important source of funds.
The ACLU IPP of Western Mass. was developed in response to the urgency expressed by local immigration lawyers about the dearth of legal services available to immigrants living in the region, which includes an estimated 15,000 undocumented immigrants and thousands more threatened with deportation. The program aims to mobilize and strengthens the pro bono capacity of the local bar to help immigrant families during these times of fear and uncertainty.
The IPP has two core goals:
- To train volunteer lawyers in the specific legal services most needed by the immigrant population in the four counties of Western Mass. After the training, pro bono lawyers will be ready to (1) to go to Probate and Family Court to seek specific orders for immigrant parents and children at risk of being detained and deported and (2) to go to Immigration Court to seek bond for detained immigrants.
- To establish a western Massachusetts intake help-line for immigrants that will handle referrals to and from the program, which will be staffed by volunteer intake workers and be developed in coordination with a area legal, social, employment and mental health providers.
For more information, click here.