Friday, November 8, 2019

For 30 years, ProBAR has served immigrants and refugees at the southern border


ProBAR directors, past and present, in chronological order, left to right: Robert Lang, Anne Marie Gibbons, Meredith Linsky and Kimi Jackson.

The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) empowers detained immigrants through high-quality legal education and representation. Located in Harlingen, Texas, ProBAR serves adults and unaccompanied children in immigration detention in the Rio Grande Valley.

Amanda Robert for the ABA Journal reports that, while celebrating its 30th anniversary, ProBAR is in the midst of the latest Central American refugee crisis. “Right now, we have 2,000 people who are living in tents just across the border in Matamoros, Mexico, who are in the process of applying for asylum but are being kept in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols, otherwise known as Remain in Mexico,” Kimi Jackson, the director of ProBAR, says. “Their situation is extremely dire.”

The American Bar Association (ABA) created ProBar in Harlingen, Texas, to help an earlier wave of Central American people who were fleeing civil wars in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, Jackson told the audience at its 30th anniversary celebration last week. “The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, or ProBAR, got its name because probar means ‘to prove’ in Spanish and, as Bob explained, ‘there was a lot we meant to prove to the immigration judges,’” she said.


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