Sharing News About My Retirement: Note from Co-Founder and Executive Director Cheryl Little

When Sisters Catherine Cassidy, Maureen Kelleher and I began planning for Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC) in 1995, we never dreamed it would become a relatively large, nationally recognized organization. All of you reading this letter played a role in strengthening our ability to stand strong in the storm of ever-changing immigration laws and policies aimed at stripping away immigrants’ …

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Shameful Treatment of Haitians

Published September 27, 2021 Statement from Cheryl Little, Co-founder and Executive Director My first job after graduation from law school was at the Haitian Refugee Center where I learned firsthand the extent of the discrimination against Haitians. Since then, the shameful treatment has only escalated. For decades U.S. policy impacting Haitian asylum seekers has created an almost insurmountable barrier for …

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Child Clients Still Face Insurmountable Challenges

Published August 26, 2021 For most of 2020, children arriving alone at our border were expelled in violation of a federal law requiring that they have their day in court before removal. On February 2, 2021 the Biden administration reversed that directive and our local ORR facilities are once again filling up with children in need of legal services. Below are …

Detained Man Behind Bars

Detention Numbers Must Be Reduced

In recent months, our Detention team has seen a marked change in the number and types of immigrants detained locally and nationwide. In January 2021, the Biden administration inherited a record low number of 14,195 people in immigration detention, in large part due to Trump’s closing of the border following COVID-19. Fast-forward almost 6 months later, and over 27,000 persons have …

Janet R. McAliley

Janet R. McAliley

Former Member, Miami-Dade County School Board Janet McAliley was a former member of the Miami-Dade County School Board. She was first elected to the School Board in 1980 and was subsequently re-elected three times, serving for four terms until 1996. Among her many accomplishments during her tenure was helping an undocumented high school student secure status so that she could …

Asylum Protections Continue to be Eroded

A Dangerous Waiting Game: Asylum Protections Continue to be Eroded

No Rest for the Wicked After returning from Tijuana, I felt like I had a good understanding of the current state of the asylum-process at the border. In an example of how things change overnight, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last night that it would be proceeding with its Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), where some asylum-seekers will be …

Reflections at the US-Mexican Border

AI Justice Attorneys Reflect On Their Time At The Border: Concluding Thoughts

Adonia Simpson, Director of AI Justice’s Family Defense Program, and Jessica Shulruff Schneider, Director of AI Justice’s Detention Program, reflect on their experiences volunteering as legal service providers along the U.S.-Mexico border.  We returned to Miami Tuesday morning, and we are still processing the experience. As the Al Otro Lado team promised, we became “veterans” after 12 hours, assisting with …

US-Mexican Border Day 4

AI Justice Attorneys Reflect on Their Time at the Border: Day 4

Adonia Simpson, Director of AI Justice’s Family Defense Program, and Jessica Shulruff Schneider, Director of AI Justice’s Detention Program, reflect on their experiences volunteering as legal service providers along the U.S.-Mexico border.  Day 4 began early for us, 7 a.m., but many migrants, replete with suitcases and their children, arrived before daylight broke at El Chaparral, the PedWest footbridge to …

US Mexican Border Day 3

Ai Justice Attorneys Reflect On Their Time At The Border: Day 3

Adonia Simpson, Director of AI Justice’s Family Defense Program, and Jessica Shulruff Schneider, Director of AI Justice’s Detention Program, reflect on their experiences volunteering as legal service providers along the U.S.-Mexico border.  Our orientation with Al Otro Lado started with one of the volunteer organizers saying that the daily grind is like “flying a plane that is on fire and …

Wall at the US Mexican Border

AI Justice Attorneys Reflect on Their Time at the Border: Day 2

Adonia Simpson, Director of AI Justice’s Family Defense Program, and Jessica Shulruff Schneider, Director of AI Justice’s Detention Program, reflect on their experiences volunteering as legal service providers along the U.S.-Mexico border.  We made it.  We are here.  We are safe.  We have seen this post circulating on social media and thought it was an appropriate time to share. The …