Legal Pro Bono Work at the Border
The current migrant family crisis at the border is nothing new. It’s also not new for the South Texas ProBAR.  They’re the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project and provide legal pro bono work for both adults and children held in detention along the border in Texas. The South Texas ProBAR offers legal aid, education, referral, and representation, and has been assisting families stuck at the border facing family separation. Way before many people were aware of the border separation, ProBAR had been carrying on with their work.
Kimi Jackson, Director of the South Texas ProBAR, spoke at length with the Legal Talk Network  about the work that her organization does at the border. She said that ProBAR is a non-profit legal body that aids detained adults, unaccompanied minors, and immigrants caught in legal issues. The project is a part of the ABA, which also takes care of ProBAR’s administrative needs.
The ABA isn’t the only legal group backing this project. ProBAR also gets support from the State Bar of Texas, as well as the Texas Access to Justice Foundation . The State Bar of Texas funds ProBAR’s work, and was the first backer to get the ball rolling for them.
Coming back to the issue at hand, the separation of families at the border  can deeply polarize the country, but is something that the ABA and Texas Bar have been seeking to address objectively. The organizations have played an active role in connecting the detainees with the legal aid they required. This was the need of the hour for children caught in crossfire – nearly 2,500 of them. According to the Department of Homeland Security, these children were separated from their families over just a period of five weeks. 
This is where Kimi Jackson and the Texas ProBAR stepped in. During the course of their pro bono volunteer work for detainees, they educated detained adults and children about their rights, and informed them about the legal process they were in. This helped the detainees assess their situation and make informed decisions for themselves and their families. Jackson said that in addition to this, ProBAR offered them personalized legal aid, referral, and oftentimes legal representation.
The work ProBAR does is an excellent example of what legal pro bono work is. It’s rising above and beyond one’s legal capacity and providing justice to people who truly are in need of it and have no way to represent themselves. And that’s what we do here at PurpleHat as well!