ASAP connected over 270 asylum seekers with pro bono attorneys to help them file monetary damages claims against the government for family separation and other mistreatment at the border.
Together with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR), we launched a project this year on behalf of families who want to seek justice for the harms they suffered under the Trump administration’s draconian family separation policies. We are excited to share that we have placed monetary damages cases for 270 individuals with pro bono attorneys. In May, the government acknowledged there were already 400 pending administrative complaints from separated families, and we estimate there are now at least 500.
Represented by law firms, non-profit organizations, and private immigration attorneys receiving support from ASAP and LCCR, these separated families will be able to move forward in suing the government for monetary damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) – a legal strategy we employed working with ASAP’s first client, Suny Rodríguez.
In order to place these cases, the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) created a toolkit with instructions for filing FTCA administrative complaints and coordinated trainings for over 200 pro bono attorneys and advocates interested in representing formerly separated families. We are continuing to work with LCCR to provide technical assistance to the pro bono attorneys with whom we have placed cases, reviewing their administrative complaints and answering over 300 questions under short timelines. ASAP also manages a listserv for attorneys to share research, resources, and case developments on monetary damages cases for separated families. Thus far, over 150 attorneys and advocates have joined our family separation damages listserv, and we anticipate growing numbers as we continue to place more cases.
If you are an attorney and are interested in helping a separated family file a claim for monetary damages against the government, please contact ASAP and LCCR at: [email protected].