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Pro Bono Event 2019
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In November, SABA North America held its first ever Pro Bono Volunteer Event in Dilley, Texas. Samir Mehta (Former President of SABA-StL and Treasurer of SABA North America) organized and led the team. Eight volunteers from five cities joined in to work with asylum seekers in detention facilities in Dilley. The team was comprised of Sucharita Varanasi (SABA-GB and SABANA Foundation President-Elect), Lalitha Gunturi (SABA-GB), Rani Karnik (SABANY), Andy Aujla (SABANY), Paula Avila (SABANY), and Samir Mehta (SABA St. Louis). We also were lucky to have two volunteers help us who were new to SABA - Gabriela Tejeda-Rios (Chicago) and Minera Briones (San Antonio). In line with its mission of promoting and funding the professional growth of the South Asian legal community and providing access to justice, the SABA North America Foundation generously provided stipends to these volunteers.

The team got a chance to do a wide array of work on behalf of asylum seekers from preparing clients for credible fear interviews (CFIs) to working with clients on appeals from a negative CFI to assisting in litigation against the Department of Homeland Security. The team also got a chance to work with the strong, brave women and children who were seeking asylum and to learn about asylum law and the way the current administration is handling asylum.

It was an incredible, difficult, and rewarding experience. Look for more stories about the event in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for further details on the next Pro Bono Volunteer Event in 2020. We'd love for you to come!

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