The Right to Immigration Institute (TRII- pronounced "tree") was started by a Brandeis Professor and three Brandeis Students with the goal of addressing the problem of under-representation in immigration courts. Since opening its doors in 2018, TRII has grown to a team of three attorneys, four Department of Justice partially accredited representatives, and over 50 volunteers.
Representation is essential in ensuring someone seeking immigration relief is successful. In 2016, for example, 90% of unrepresented asylum cases in immigration court were denied. In contrast, with representation, asylum cases in immigration court have a success rate of ~50%. With nearly 700,000 pending asylum cases nationwide, these numbers can be unsettling.
These rates are not only unique to asylum. 63% of non-citizens who went to immigration court between 2007-2012 did not have legal representation. Without representation, detained non-citizens sought relief 3% of the time and non-citizens who were never detained only sought relief 15% of the time.
At The Right to Immigration Institute, we tackle this issue head on. By providing our services pro bono and training a talented team of paralegal and accredited representatives who can assist on cases, we are working to shrink the number of people who must face immigration court alone.
"I joined TRII because I am an international student and I wanted to help other immigrants and non-immigrants seize the opportunity to improve their lives. I believe everyone deserves equal opportunities regardless of where they started out in life."
— Aseem Kumar, TRII Volunteer