Family Detention: Harmful and Unnecessary

The Dilley Pro Bono Project (DPBP) provides free legal services to asylum seekers detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas, which has a capacity for 2,400 women and children. The project is a collaboration between the American Immigration Council (AIC), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA) and has been in operation since 2014, when the STFRC opened. DPBP has two goals: to provide legal services to all detainees who need them and to end family detention in the United States. The project has a very small staff and depends on weekly groups of volunteers, both attorneys and non-attorneys.
Katy Murdza has worked in Dilley for the American Immigration Council as the DPBP Advocacy Coordinator since May 2017. In this role, she assists families with advocacy issues such as family separation and inadequate medical care, and collects data and declarations about these incidents for use in complaints, media communications, and litigation to further the project's goal of ending family detention. She grew up in Hanover, graduated from Hanover High School in 2008, and has a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame and a master's degree in International Policy and Development from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama and as a full-time volunteer for No More Deaths in Nogales, Mexico.