Connor Vasu is spending his fellowship year in Dilley, Texas near the U.S.-Mexico border. He is working with the Dilley Pro Bono Project (DPBP) at the Dilley Detention Center in Texas to help better understand the legal and humanitarian needs of migrants and asylum seekers at the southern border.
The privately-run Dilley detention center is the largest in the country, holding up to 2,400 women and children, almost all of whom are seeking asylum. Tapping national enthusiasm surrounding immigrant rights, the DPBP has developed an innovative model—relying on volunteers from around the country to provide pro bono services through one-week service trips. Staff manages volunteers, conducts intakes and represents detainees in expedited hearings, in addition to challenging immigration policies in federal court and collaborating with other nonprofit partners on immigration advocacy and reform.
He intends to study how DPBP’s remote access legal model be better optimized to suit clients and attorneys.
Connor Vasu (top center) with volunteers at the Dilley Pro Bono Project.
Excerpts from Connor's writing