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Assisting Asylum Seekers 2017 A Project of UConn Crowdfunding Iniatives

A group of students and professors from the UConn Schools of Law and Social Work and the main university campus in Storrs are going to spend spring break 2017 working with asylum seekers who are being held in detention in York County, Pennsylvania. The asylum seekers come from around the world and most have suffered extreme persecution and torture. Upon arriving in the U.S., they were detained and now await their asylum hearings in a remote Pennsylvania prison.

Due to the expense of legal counsel, the strain on the local non-profits, and lack of lawyers practicing in the area, none of these asylum seekers have legal representation. The students on this trip will help the asylum seekers to better be able to represent themselves in their asylum hearings, and help them to submit applications and materials that will assist them in proving their cases.

The trip will serve the students as an intensive and probably exhausting training in asylum law, client interviewing and counseling, legal research and analysis, and trial preparation. It will also expose them to one of the most pressing human rights issues both in the U.S. and globally. Funding is needed to cover travel and lodging expenses to make this pro bono project possible.

We need your support so that all students who want to sacrifice their spring break for a good cause can afford to do so.

Any funds we raise above and beyond our goal will go to next year's trip or benefit educational opportunities within our Asylum and Human Rights Clinic.

Participants from the 2016 trip have said:

The Immigration Detention Service Project 2016 was a hugely important part of my law school experience. Prior to the trip, I had served as a Student Representative in the Asylum & Human Rights Clinic, so I was already familiar with asylum work and understood its importance. However, it wasn't until I was actually in the prison speaking with detained asylum-seekers that I fully comprehended the gravity of the immigration issues within United States. The asylum-seekers we met with had endured horrific experiences in their home countries and it was heartbreaking to see them imprisoned here in the U.S.. Hearing their stories and trying to help them was very meaningful to me. It has informed and will continue to inform my public interest work going forward, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity.
-Dvora Walker '16

We worked around 13 hours a day from Monday to Friday. We read hundreds of articles on how children and women are killed, raped, and tortured with no reason other than greed and violence. We heard from the detainees how they chose to fight for their beloved ones against what was more painful than death. We heard how they were asked to sign documents in a language they do not understand without any further explanation on what was going on. It was great working with those who were all motivated and determined to serve humanity, which I believe should be the ultimate goal of legal education.
-Joyce Lee '18

As a person of young age and an immigrant myself, I found the ISDP project to be very challenging in many respects--not only for professional growth, but also personal development. Unforgettable times! I was a first year student with very little practical experience, and had to learn on the spot how to interact with the client. The best part of it? Countless hours spent in that week providing invaluable assistance to the asylum seekers, who otherwise could not take advantage of the American immigration system.
-Adrianna Michalska '18

Thank you so much for your support!

$2,196 Raised
62% towards $3,500 Goal

Supported by 20 Donations: