RAICES Karnes Pro Bono Internship

San Antonio, Texas, United States Part-time

RAICES – Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services

SUMMER (with a possibility of extension)

Location: RAICES Holloway Office in San Antonio, TX / Karnes Family Detention Center

Schedule: Flexible, 35 - 40 hours a week

Concentration: Legal, Family Detention

Interviews will be in-person if you are a local applicant; interviews can be conducted via phone or Google Hangouts if you are not a local applicant.



Founded in 1987, RAICES is the largest non-profit immigration organization in Texas with offices in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio with additional staff in Houston, Washington, D.C., and many other locations around Texas. Since 1986, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) has assisted vulnerable members of the immigrant community - including asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, immigrant detainees, and survivors of torture ­ to navigate the United States immigration court system by helping them to better understand their rights and responsibilities in that process.  With the mission to promote justice by providing free and low cost immigration legal services to underserved children, families, and refugees in Central and South Texas, RAICES has grown from a San Antonio based organization to one that serves clients all over Texas. RAICES current, major ongoing activities include: the legal representation of unaccompanied children, families and adults seeking assistance with their immigration case; emergency shelter and referral services for such individuals who have been released from detention; and working with local communities to increase their capacity to be welcoming and to prepare for any executive actions or immigration reforms.

During this past year, state and federal administrations have implemented immigration policies that target different populations of immigrants. These executive actions and anti-immigrant legislations are typically misconstrued by media, often spreading fear and hopelessness, leaving people misinformed and often times, terrified. In this fast-paced, current political atmosphere of constant changes in immigration law, we believe it is crucial to prioritize that affected communities are informed about the latest immigration happenings, know of our services, and be empowered to fight back, organize and defend themselves while being well informed of the current political situation and their rights.


The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is offering a 4- 5 month unpaid Fall internship with the Family Detention program based in San Antonio, TX.  The Family Detention program oversees the Karnes Pro Bono Project which provides pro se assistance and pro bono legal services to detained families as they navigate the legal processes to seek asylum and humanitarian protection. Because of the expedited nature of the procedures, many families suffer serious procedural and due process defects. The goal of the Project is to ensure that families have a fair chance to present their stories and have an opportunity to apply for asylum and other protections.

Hundreds of families fleeing horrific violence in Central America are detained in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. In order to be eligible for release from detention and be able to apply for legal protection such as asylum, these traumatized families must pass a screening interview where they must prove that they meet the basic requirements for asylum withholding at removal or CAT. Families receive interviews within days of arrival at the detention center. Families that pass the screening interview can be released from detention to continue the legal process. Families who do not pass the interview can have their cases reviewed by an immigration judge or by the Asylum Office.


The student’s primary responsibilities would include:

  • Regular travel to the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas;
  • Provide pro bono legal services and pro se assistance to immigrant families detained at the Karnes County Residential Center;
  • Provide pro bono legal services and pro se assistance to recently released families and those families residing in the jurisdiction of the San Antonio Immigration Court;
  • Conduct thorough intakes, prepare families for credible and reasonable fear interviews, and screen clients for trauma, abuse and trafficking;
  • Draft declarations, conduct legal research, and draft legal memoranda and pleadings;
  • Opportunities to represent families in immigration court and before the Asylum Office;
  • Assist with advocacy and litigation efforts to end family detention;
  • Assume administrative responsibilities including timekeeping, case management and other tasks as needed for program compliance.


  • Enrolled in degree-seeking program. Preference given to Women’s Studies, Political Science, Mexican American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Bilingual/Bicultural studies, Humanities, Public Policy, Psychology, Social Work, etc.
  • Fluent in Spanish;
  • Experience in immigration or family law preferred;
  • Experience working with children preferred;
  • Driver’s license and access to a car preferred.

For more information about The Karnes Pro Bono Project please visit: Karnes Pro Bono Project.

RAICES is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or veteran status.

Apply for this opening at http://RAICES.recruiterbox.com/jobs/fk0j3vo?apply=true