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

VECINA provides mentorship and training to pro bono attorneys and other volunteers who provide representation and legal support to asylum seekers, refugees, and the family members and other loved ones of unaccompanied children. Our expert staff come alongside the volunteers to provide training, answer questions, and make sure that our pro bono teams have everything they need to provide zealous advocacy 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.


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 Newcomers

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


Our team provides training and technical assistance related to immigration legal issues to organizations and advocates that are funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Some Highlights from 2023:

Our ReUnite Project has now provided assistance to more than 1,100 families of unaccompanied immigrant children with release, reunification, and post-release needs. This includes providing direct legal representation to the family members and other loved ones (known as “sponsors”) of 314 unaccompanied children in the release and reunification process. We have assisted families from 24 different countries speaking 26 languages. Many of these families have been indigenous.

We engaged approximately 400 volunteers to provide legal assistance to 317 Afghan asylum seekers through either direct representation or by helping them prepare for their asylum interviews. Currently, our volunteers representing Afghan asylum seekers have an approval rate (i.e. their clients were granted asylum) of 100%!

We published several new online courses, and we now have over 5,000 users signed up for at least one of our educational opportunities.

VECINA began a partnership with Switchboard, through which we provide training and technical assistance to organizations and legal representatives funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement throughout the United States.

After over a year of waiting, two Afghan families were reunited with their unaccompanied children who were separated and evacuated from Afghanistan without them. The families were in danger at home and have now made it to safety in the United States. These reunifications are the result of many months of efforts on the part of VECINA volunteers who helped the families liaise with the U.S. government.

In partnership with Immigration Legal Services for Afghan Arrivals (ILSAA), VECINA held emergency clinics in Austin, Texas, where our volunteers assisted approximately 86 individuals in applying to extend their lawful status in the U.S.

We launched Season 2 of our podcast, Inadmissible.

We began a partnership with the Vermont Asylum Assistance Project to do training onramps for volunteers. VAAP is the one of the only organizations in the State of Vermont that mentors and trains attorneys providing pro bono legal representation to asylum seekers.

VECINA CEO Lindsay Goldford Gray testified before the Texas State House of Representatives regarding a bill that would cause tremendous harm to immigrants in Texas.

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

Our goal is to raise $65,000 on by the end of the year, and we need you to help us get there!

Let’s work together to raise $65,000!

Goal: $65,000 Raised: $70,788