Karnes Pro Bono Project Sign Up

Thank you for your interest in volunteering to help the fathers and sons detained in Karnes County Residential Center. Women and children are no longer detained in Karnes, therefore we no longer serve that population. The current population is male only.

Please complete the survey below to record your interest in volunteering with the project for 2019. We are no longer accepting volunteers for the remaining 2018 year.

Who We Are

The Karnes Pro Bono Project is housed from the Holloway office in San Antonio, Texas. We are an immigration legal services non-profit organization. RAICES is able to staff the detention center with a team of attorneys and legal assistants Monday – Friday. Even with internal staffing, we rely heavily on volunteers to help us with our services. Generally our work revolves around the families who are often asylum seekers originating from the “Northern Triangle” — Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Upon arrival, families are generally placed in expedited removal proceedings, which means that before they may be released to their families in the United States to pursue their asylum claim in immigration court, they must pass a credible or reasonable fear interview in detention, more or less to determine whether they meet the basic requirements for asylum or other forms of relief.

What We Do

  1. Legal research regarding country decisions and court rulings in support for our clients.
  2. Providing intake for families, which is where we gather basic information of the family and what their case might entail.
  3. Providing a Credible/Reasonable Fear Interview (CFI/RFI) prep for families, which is where we help families articulate their case before an asylum officer, whose role is to determine if the client is eligible for release to seek asylum in the U.S.
  4. Providing legal advice regarding what steps families must execute if they are released from the detention center.
  5. Drafting declarations, which are very similar to affidavits.
  6. Representing families telephonically or in-person for their CFI or RFI.
  7. Representing families for their hearings before an immigration judge

*Please be advised that representation of any sort is solely reserved for law students and active attorneys.

Special Skills

If you have particular skills or background (i.e. medical or social work), we will do our best to have you conduct medical or psychological evaluations. Evaluations can be conducted for the son and/or father. Please bring a copy of your license or certificate.


Volunteers are required to commit to a minimum timeframe of Monday – Thursday. Friday is encouraged but optional. We unfortunately do not have home-stay or lodging specials, but can offer options for where to stay. Moreover, we recommend renting a vehicle to accommodate daily needs. The detention center is about an hour drive from San Antonio, Texas. Approved volunteers will receive training materials two weeks in advance from the scheduled volunteering timeframe.