Friday, June 22, 2018

Taking Action

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You don't need me to tell you that what is happening is an atrocity, and that this administration regularly plays fast and loose with the law, the rule of law, and the truth. I had always thought that this administration demeans our institutions, our values, and our ideals, and they just keep providing additional proof. It horrifies and disgusts me. It is beneath us as a nation.

It wasn't until I became a lawyer that I truly understood how, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Although law school taught us that the law is a fallible social construct, one that has been used to facilitate countless injustices throughout our history (including Japanese internment, and by the way, those precedents have never been overruled, though are generally never cited favorably, except by our administration in an unrelated case), I still believe in the power of law and lawyers to do good. With every new and terrible thing, my brain immediately jumps to questions of what lawyers can do, what legal solutions there might to this new problem. Unfortunately, the law is fallible and our processes far from perfect and not always just, particularly in the immigration context, as John Oliver helped explain. Providing pro bono legal representation to as many asylum-seekers as possible is important.

To that end, I am making a donation now to the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, a group that mobilizes volunteer attorneys to represent asylum-seekers being held at the detention centers in Texas. There are many groups doing good work, but this is the group I'm most familiar with through colleagues in my professional and academic circles (one distant acquaintance's description of their previous work with the group and what they're doing now can be found here). They first mobilized to address the family detention that occurred under the previous administration, which was also bad, so they've been doing this type of work for quite some time. I also plan to donate more to this cause in coming months, and will look into various organizations before deciding which to give to next. 

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