We Build Bridges, Not Walls, for Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Unaccompanied Children

VECINA provides mentorship and training to volunteer attorneys and others who provide representation and legal support to asylum seekers, refugees, and sponsors of unaccompanied children. Our expert staff come alongside the volunteers to provide training, answer questions one-on-one, and make sure that the attorneys have everything they need to provide zealous representation on behalf of their clients.

Our Projects:

Defensive Asylum

VECINA provides expert mentorship to pro bono attorneys representing asylum seekers before the Immigration Court throughout the country. We also host and participate in a variety of trainings focused on trial practice skills in Immigration Court.

ReUnite

Attorneys, administrators, and interpreter volunteers assist family members and other potential sponsors with reunification paperwork required to seek the release of unaccompanied immigrant children from the custody of the U.S. government.

Afghan Affirmative Asylum

We published online trainings and provide group mentorship to pro bono teams assisting Afghan newcomers with requests for asylum, so that they may remain safe in the U.S. permanently.

Ukraine

We developed resources and provided guidance for attorneys and other volunteers assisting Ukrainians with immigration issues, including those seeking temporary protected status, and those applying for the Uniting for Ukraine program. We also assisted with the reunification and release of several unaccompanied Ukrainian children.

Some Highlights from 2022:

VECINA has 13 volunteers working on family reunification efforts for Unaccompanied Afghan Minors whose parents and siblings were left behind in Afghanistan during the Taliban’s takeover.  Collectively, these volunteers are working to help bring 36 family members of these children to the United States, and one of the children has already been reunited with some of their family members!

We published several new online courses for those assisting Afghan newcomers, and we now have over 2,700 users signed up for at least one of our educational opportunities.

We launched our Afghan Affirmative Asylum Project, and to date have assisted 255 Afghans and engaged 147 volunteers.

We released our podcast, “Inadmissible” which provides listeners with a deeper understanding of some of the immigration issues in the news.

As the war broke out in Ukraine, we assisted with the relocation and reunification efforts for two premature babies born in a war zone.

Our ReUnite project continues to aid family reunification efforts for unaccompanied immigrant children who are detained in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  To date, ReUnite has helped sponsors (family members or family friends of unaccompanied minors) secure the release of nearly 250 children from ORR custody.

VECINA is now recognized as an accredited organization by the Executive Office of Immigration Review. This means that our accredited representatives (non-lawyers who have completed sufficient immigration law training) can represent clients before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Immigration Court.  VECINA’s new accredited representatives include VECINA’s Project Director and three of our amazing volunteers, who come to us via our partnership with the Villanova Interdisciplinary Immigration Studies Training for Advocates (VIISTA) program.

Give Today to Expand Representation for Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Loved Ones of Unaccompanied Children!

Our goal is to raise $50,000 on by the end of the year, and we need you to help us get there!

Let’s work together to raise $50,000!

Goal: $50,000 Raised: $27,160