Although immigration has become a hot button issue debated by people who know very little about it, Kimi Jackson ‘92 comes back to a central truth: immigration is about people’s lives. “My ancestors came to this country to find a place that is safe where they could simply live and contribute,” she said. “That’s what the immigrants I work with every day want. They want to live in safety and to have opportunities.”
Kimi directs the 190 staff members working at the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR) in Harlingen, Texas. The attorneys and other staff work with minors and adults who have been detained on the southern border to help them access the U.S. immigration system.
“Unlike in our criminal justice system,” Kimi explained, “in the immigration system people do not have a right to representation if they can’t afford it. We do our best to serve these populations by providing referrals to agencies and partners, counseling them on their rights, and representing them directly.”
Kimi’s UWC-USA experience helped her see that she is a part of this world – not just part of this country. “At UWC-USA I learned about the importance of doing work that has meaning. And joined a global community that to this day encourages me and supports me in my work.”