Since its creation in July 2018, the Project Corazon Travel Fund (run by the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation) has sent more than 100 volunteer lawyers and law students to the front lines of the humanitarian crisis caused by inhumane immigration policies. Our pro bono attorneys take time away from their homes and families, often traveling long distances, to provide free legal services to men, women, and children seeking asylum in the United States.
Your donations help us cover travel costs such as flights, hotels, rental cars, and meals for volunteer attorneys who otherwise could not afford to make the trip to remote detention centers, refugee camps, or other areas where their help is desperately needed.
As one volunteer lawyer wrote:
I am very grateful to Project Corazon for funding this trip. There’s no way I could have gone without their help. They are part of Lawyers for Good Government, which is a group that formed on Facebook immediately after the election (you know which election). Within a week they had more than 100,000 members. It’s the same organization that sponsored the conference I went to in D.C. on the weekend of the Women’s March. They have limited funds, but they covered the hotel stay and connected me with a lawyer 3,000 miles away who bought the plane ticket.
- Kelly Vomacka
PROJECT CORAZON: MATAMOROS
In August 2019, Project Corazon launched a program based in Brownsville, Texas, to assist asylum-seekers stuck in Matamoros (Mexico) due to the administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. We organize and send groups of 5 - 6 volunteer lawyers with asylum law expertise to run legal workshops for asylum-seekers.
We are also placing a full-time immigration attorney in Brownsville to coordinate volunteer programs and develop a system for translating and preparing hundreds of asylum applications.
This video provides an overview of Project Corazon’s weekend workshops in Matamoros.
Scroll down to learn more about this program from some of our volunteer attorneys, and please donate to the Project Corazon Travel Fund.
You can also contribute to this effort by pledging airline miles through our partnership with Lawyer Moms of America - click here to pledge your miles!
If you are an attorney seeking travel assistance to provide legal services to asylum-seekers, please click here to apply.
“My daughter and I traveled to the Dilley Detention Center to work with the DPBP. We were there from Sunday to Friday night working with detained moms and kids.
Even after having represented asylum seekers for a decade, this experience is profound and agonizing. I observed a system that should never be condoned by any country, much less one that purports to values human and civil rights and dignities.
I think that everyone should see what we witnessed because then we can stand up for the rights of people to seek safety for themselves and their families, and reject that these actions are being taken in the name of our country and our values.”
- Mara Kimmel
“ I helped people from all over the world; what many may not realize is that the San Ysidro port of entry in Tijuana, Mexico is a large land crossing, and people come from Africa, Middle East, and other countries.
I experienced a lot of fear and trauma in the lives of migrants, and fear and trauma of a different nature with staff who are routinely harassed and threatened for simply trying to do their jobs.
My biggest impact was helping 11 minors from African, Latin American and Caribbean countries to present themselves at the port of entry.
- Maya Ibars
“I went to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and provided legal services to children in detention. I listened to the stories of dozens of unaccompanied minors and provided a framework for their understanding of the asylum process. I gave several ‘Know Your Rights’ presentations to children in detention, families upon release and individuals waiting at the bridge in Matamoros.
I feel that I was able to provide a little stability and clarity amidst the chaos that is the border. There were many unexpected barriers and challenges but I was able to provide a sense of calm and order in an otherwise messy place.”
- Claire Noone
“In the consults I made, every story I heard was virtually the same. People being extorted and threaten by gangs. Their family members disappeared or brutally killed, their children targeted for recruitment. Business owners who cannot continue operating because the excessive amounts demanded by the gangs ruined them. One missed payment was a death sentence.
Entire families seeking refuge, parents, grandparents and children.
Sadly, I knew that most of those claims were going to be denied and they would be sent back possibly to their deaths.”
- Maribel Martinez