Kate Huddleston

  • Hosted by American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
  • Sponsored by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • Service location Houston, Texas
  • Law school Yale Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Kate’s Fellowship challenged barriers to access to asylum and education for immigrants in Texas, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley, through direct representation, impact litigation, and policy advocacy.

Kate worked to reduce barriers to access to education for immigrant children in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Immigrant children face barriers to access a meaningful education, including due to immigration status. As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education in south Texas during Kate’s Fellowship, Kate worked on crisis response to the pandemic for immigrants in Texas, including children and families.

Fellowship Highlights

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kate worked with Weil and ACLU attorneys to successfully secure the release of dozens of medically vulnerable people from immigration detention, in the putative class action case Vazquez Barrera v. Wolf. The case was the first within the Fifth Circuit to hold that those in immigration detention required release under the Constitution due to the danger of continued detention during the pandemic. Kate also litigated a related Fifth Circuit case originally brought without an attorney by a person detained pretrial, filing a cert petition with the Supreme Court.

Kate also engaged in extensive litigation on behalf of children and families seeking asylum at the Texas-Mexico border. She was a key part of the team that challenged the federal government’s PACR/HARP policy of holding asylum seekers in Border Patrol jails without access to attorneys for their initial asylum screening. She worked on the litigation teams challenging the rapid expulsion of children and families seeking asylum under the guise of public health. Kate then turned to focus on protecting the rights of immigrant children at the state level, in combating both anti-immigrant state policies such as Texas’ order banning travel by groups of migrants and efforts to stop honest education about race and racism in Texas schools.

Next Steps

Kate will continue working at the ACLU of Texas as a staff attorney primarily focused on immigrants’ rights.

Media

How Texas Gov. Abbott Is Fighting His Own Border War

Ending PACR/HARP: An Urgent Step Toward Restoring Humane Asylum Policy

Expedited Bail Proceedings Granted to Immigrants at ICE Detention Facility in Conroe

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