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News Release

Department of Justice

Executive Office for Immigration Review

February 19, 2002

EOIR Recognizes Outstanding Pro Bono Effort
In Immigration Appeals Project

WASHINGTON, DC – Marking the first anniversary of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Pro Bono Project, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) together with its nongovernmental organization (NGO) partners will recognize outstanding pro bono efforts at an awards reception hosted by the NGOs tomorrow, February 20. The honorees are: Vikram Badrinath, a private attorney in Tucson, Arizona; the Georgetown University Law Center; the law firm of Holland and Knight; and 11 legal representatives who screen pro bono cases (list below).

Because individuals in Immigration Court proceedings are not entitled to publicly funded legal assistance - and many appear before the BIA without legal counsel - these honorees along with other pro bono representatives have played a critical role in providing effective legal counsel for those who have potentially meritorious cases. During the first year of the project, more than 225 pro bono participants have been recruited and more than 120 detained individuals - who otherwise would not have been represented by counsel - have been provided pro bono legal representation.

Under the BIA Pro Bono Project, implemented in January 2001, EOIR assists several NGOs in their efforts to link volunteer legal representatives from around the country with detained individuals whose immigration cases are under appeal and who cannot afford legal representation.

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) has provided critical assistance in coordinating the project with other NGOs, which include the American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition (CAIR), and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

EOIR invites anyone interested in volunteering or in obtaining more information about this project to contact Molly McKenna at CLINIC by phone at (202) 635-2567, or via e-mail at:

Information about EOIR's overall pro bono efforts is available from Pro Bono Coordinator Steven Lang by phone at (703) 605-1722, via e-mail at, or on-line at EOIR's Web site

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) - a Department of Justice agency that is independent from the INS - is responsible for providing due process to individuals who are charged with immigration law violations or seek relief from immigration-related penalties imposed against them. To render due process, EOIR has 220 Immigration Judges located in 51 Immigration Courts throughout the nation and the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Legal Representative Awardees

Traci Hong (AILF), Washington, D.C.

Beth Werlin (AILF), Washington, D.C.

Thomas Hutchins (Immigrant and Refugee Appellate Center, LLC), Alexandria, VA

David Cleveland (Catholic Charities), Washington, D.C.

Denise Gilman (Washington Lawyers Committee), Washington, D.C.

Lindsey Stevenson [Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition], Washington, D.C.

Michael Sozan (Arnold & Porter), Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Quinn (Maggio & Kattar), Washington, D.C.

Alison Brown (Maggio & Kattar), Washington, D.C.

Karen Grisez (Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson), Washington, D.C.

Beth Lyon (Villanova University School of Law), Villanova, PA

- EOIR -

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the Department of Justice. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals interpret and adjudicate immigration cases according to United States immigration laws. EOIR's immigration judges conduct administrative court proceedings in immigration courts located throughout the nation. They determine whether foreign-born individuals—whom the Department of Homeland Security charges with violating immigration law—should be ordered removed from the United States or should be granted relief from removal and be permitted to remain in this country. The Board of Immigration Appeals primarily reviews appeals of decisions by immigration judges. EOIR's Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer adjudicates immigration-related employment cases. EOIR is committed to ensuring fairness in all of the cases it adjudicates.

Executive Office for Immigration Review

Updated August 14, 2015