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Austin Rose

  • Hosted by Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition
  • Sponsored by The Arnold & Porter Foundation
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Austin (he/him/his) will seek the release of individuals subject to prolonged immigration detention in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) through federal habeas corpus litigation and coordinated public advocacy campaigns.

Civil immigration detention has expanded rapidly in recent years, reaching an all-time peak in 2019. Due to challenges such as the lack of adequate medical and mental health services in detention centers, difficulty securing legal representation, long-­term separation from family members, and the risk of contracting COVID­-19 in confined settings, detained immigrants are often forced to give up on their viable immigration cases and accept deportation to their home countries. Individuals subject to prolonged immigration detention have a right to seek release through habeas corpus litigation challenging the constitutionality of their detention in federal court and may be able to advocate for their release outside of court with the help of community groups. Yet due to the capacity constraints of non-profit organizations and the realities of social isolation in detention, many detained immigrants have to fight their cases alone.

Austin draws inspiration for his project from his late grandfather, who showed him the importance of standing in solidarity with those in prison, and from his former clients, who have experienced and bravely fought through the trauma of immigration detention.

Fellowship Plans

Austin will employ litigation and public advocacy to secure the release of individuals subject to prolonged immigration detention and build a broader anti-detention movement in the DMV region. Austin’s project has three core prongs. First, he will litigate targeted habeas cases in federal court with the aim of building favorable precedent in the Fourth Circuit and beyond. Second, Austin will train and collaborate with a network of pro bono attorneys to litigate habeas cases across the region. Third, Austin will work alongside local community organizations to coordinate public advocacy campaigns seeking clients’ release.

Immigration detention, not only on the border but across the United States, is a form of family separation. I hope to fight the rest of my career to get people out of cages and back with their families.

Austin Rose /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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