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Chicago Law Firm Provides Pro Bono Counsel to Migrants

November 14, 2023 (1 min read)

Kasey Chronis, Nov. 13, 2023

"After trekking thousands of miles prior to arriving in the United States – at times in dangerous conditions – the journey for migrants doesn’t end when they get to America. Instead, a complicated legal process awaits.  That's why one Chicago law firm is working to ease the burden. On top of a language barrier, some migrants have reportedly been assigned immigration hearings in other cities, like Denver and Dallas, but have no idea where those places are or how to get there.  That's where Kimball Anderson, a partner at Winston & Strawn, comes in.  Anderson teamed up with his law firm's pro bono attorneys and other agencies, like the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), to host a series of free legal clinics. Those sessions served to educate new arrivals on their rights, and guide them on what to do next.  "To apply for work permits, to apply for a change of venue – to move their hearings from, let's say, Denver to Chicago. And fundamentally, just to register their whereabouts with the Department of Homeland Security. So they needed to go online basically," said Anderson.  Meanwhile, city officials have launched a pilot program for a one-stop work authorization clinic that aims to serve at least 150 migrants per day. It’s being done in partnership with the White House and The Resurrection Project (TRP).  "We just need to pause, hold our breath a little bit and invest all necessary resources to get these people into jobs, because they all want to work, and first and foremost, get them off the streets, because that’s untenable, that’s inhumane," said Anderson.  Anderson says Winston & Strawn, in partnership with other organizations, is planning to host additional clinics in the near future. He says bilingual volunteers are needed to help translate.  If you're interested in helping, you’re encouraged to contact the National Immigrant Justice Center by clicking HERE – and scrolling down to ‘Other Ways You Can Help.’ "