Natalie Cadwalader-Schultheis

  • Hosted by South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)
  • Sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation
  • Service location Harlingen, Texas
  • Law school University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Natalie represents transition-age youth in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, works with pro bono attorneys to improve transition-age youth’s access to immigration legal services, and develops best practices and legal orientation materials for attorneys working with this population.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project

While legal service providers have seen increases in funding for unaccompanied children that correspond to increased numbers of unaccompanied children, no such increased funding exists for adults. When an unaccompanied minor turns 18, they are transferred to adult detention, “aging-out” of many important legal protections as well as decreasing their ability to access critical legal resources. Age-outs who are able to leave ICE detention on bond have an increased likelihood of being able to obtain counsel for their merits hearings as well as more time to prepare and gather evidence. However, due to the detention center’s remote location, access to counsel is severely limited even for the limited purpose of bond representation. This project increases age-outs’ access to
representation while providing services sensitive to young adults’ cognitive and developmental states that differ from that of older adults. In particular, the project focuses on training short-term and remote pro bono volunteer attorneys to represent age-outs in bond proceedings.

Highlights to Date

In the first year, Natalie has:

  • Developed a workshop presentation for youth recently transferred from unaccompanied minor shelters to adult ICE detention
  • Provided workshops to more than 250 recently aged-out youth on how to request bond and what to expect in immigration court
  • Trained ProBAR Children’s Office legal team on bond and parole law and procedure for recently aged-out youth
  • Created training materials for pro bono attorneys representing recently aged-out youth in bond hearings
  • Provided direct representation and pro se assistance to 24 individual youths who were recently transferred to adult detention

What’s Next

In the next year, Natalie plans to:

  • Recruit short-term and remote pro bono attorneys for bond representation
  • Train pro bono attorneys accepting cases for bond representation with newly developed bond orientation materials
  • Continue providing workshops to recently aged-out youth in ICE detention
  • Continue providing direct representation and pro se assistance to recently aged-out youth in ICE detention

Meet Other Fellows Like Natalie

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Camille Van Kote

Host: St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

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Ann Garcia


Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

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Maheen Kaleem

Host: Rights 4 Girls

Sponsor: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Jesus Mosqueda

Host: Public Counsel

Sponsor: Anonymous