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Americans take pride in our country’s legacy of providing refuge to men, women, and children fleeing persecution and torture in their native countries. The National Immigrant Justice Center’s Jeanne and Joseph Sullivan Project for Protection of Asylum Seekers provides free legal representation to people fleeing persecution and torture in their native countries. As the U.S. government continues to create barriers to asylum and expands grounds for deportation, legal representation is ever more important to protecting asylum seekers and their rights.

With a network of approximately 1,000 pro bono attorneys from the nation’s leading law firms, Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) ensures that persecuted individuals seeking lawful status, protection, and freedom in the United States have access to the legal support they need to navigate the complex immigration system. NIJC advocates for legal reforms with the U.S. government to uphold its international human rights obligations. These efforts include:

  • Gather evidence to demonstrate the critical importance of legislative and administrative reform of the material support bar to asylum.
  • Collaborate with organizations such as the American Bar Association to promote reform of the immigration courts and propose solutions to the Department of Justice to reduce court delays.
  • Litigate lower court decisions that result in erroneous decisions. Attorneys from NIJC and its pro bono network frequently argue asylum cases in U.S. federal courts, winning precedential decisions that correct irrational interpretations of the law and hold the immigration courts accountable to ensure due process for asylum seekers.

Photo credit: Alexandra Strada