South Texas

The largest immigrant family detention center is the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas, approximately 80 minutes southwest of San Antonio. Despite the Flores Settlement Agreement, which dictates that children cannot be held in a secure unlicensed facility, the government continues its inhumane detention of children and their mothers who have valid asylum claims under U.S. law. The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), the American Immigration Council (AIC), the Refugee Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) joined forces to form the CARA Family Detention Project in response to ICE’s significant expansion of family detention. Texas RioGrande Legal Aid joined the effort to ensure asylum-seeking families have access to competent and effective legal services shortly thereafter and currently manages the provision of legal services in Dilley in partnership with CLINIC, AIC, and AILA.

To ensure asylum-seeking families have access to legal representation, participants will travel to Dilley during Spring Break. Participants commit to a Sunday through Friday work schedule with a mandatory on-the-ground training session taking place on Sunday evening. The training session begins at 5 p.m. in Dilley, Texas. The first working day will be Monday. Currently, the work includes completing client intakes, preparing clients for credible fear and reasonable fear interviews with the asylum office, accompanying clients to their asylum office interviews, and providing representation before the Immigration Judge in negative credible fear reviews and bond hearings.


Time Commitment: In addition to the entirety of Spring Break 2019, we anticipate that trip participants will attend a series of training sessions in the fall and spring semesters to learn more about asylum law and immigration law. Meeting times would depend on participants’ schedules but would likely take place during the lunch hour (12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m.).

For more information, please contact the student leaders at