The Case for Pro Bono: Volunteer Attorneys Needed
A GLOBAL CRISIS
- 103 million people, including 36.5 million children, have been forcibly displaced worldwide. 4.9 million of these are seeking asylum.
A GROWING BACKLOG
- In 2022, the immigration court backlog surpassed 800,000 cases. The USCIS asylum backlog exceeded 660,000 cases.
HAWAI’I’S PENDING CASES
- 225 immigration cases are pending in the Honolulu immigration court. This does not include USCIS cases.
LACK OF REPRESENTATION IN HAWAI’I
- On average, there are 1,413 undocumented persons in the United States for every charitable legal professional. Hawai’i has the second lowest capacity in the United States with a 4,506:1 ratio. Only Alabama is worse off with a 6,656:1 ratio.
THE DIFFERENCE LAWYERS MAKE
- Asylum seekers are not guaranteed representation and rely on a sparse system of pro bono services to access legal resources.
- Without legal counsel, only 1 in 10 asylum seekers win their case.
- With legal counsel, asylum seekers are at least three times more likely to receive asylum.
Attorneys interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact the Clinic at RILCinfo@hawaii.edu and register to attend a free training on May 20, 2023 geared towards attorneys who are considering representing an asylum seeker pro bono.