Serving vulnerable immigrants

DLA Piper has long been committed to helping vulnerable immigrant clients and their families seek safety and a new life in the United States, devoting more than 13,600 hours in 2019 to representing hundreds of survivors of violence, unaccompanied children and separated families. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the struggles of our immigrant communities more acute, as immigrants disproportionately work in industries that have been hardest hit by the virus, both in terms of infection and job loss. Moreover, immigration courts and agencies have shut down or slowed processing, detained immigrants have been placed at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus due to the conditions of detention, and the necessary public health requirements of sheltering in place and social distancing have posed challenges for preparing cases.

During this difficult time, our lawyers have risen to these challenges and increased their efforts to serve immigrants, including:

  • Continuing our core work of representing immigrants in applications for humanitarian forms of relief, including asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and U- and T-Visas for survivors of violence and human trafficking
  • Assisting recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with renewal of their status through a remote representation model
  • Obtaining humanitarian parole for detained immigrants who are medically vulnerable
  • Representing migrant farmworkers and survivors of hate crimes in applying for U-Visas through remote representation models
  • Representing detained immigrants in appealing their asylum denials
  • Providing legal and country conditions research to assist lawyers working with asylum seekers stranded at the Mexican border due to US policy