Katie Shepherd

Kathryn “Katie” Shepherd is the National Advocacy Counsel for the Immigration Justice Campaign at the American Immigration Council, where she focuses on legal advocacy and policy related to the asylum-seeking women and children detained in family detention centers around the country. Before joining the Council in August 2016, Katie was the Managing Attorney of the CARA Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Texas, where she managed a team of lawyers, advocates, and volunteers which provides legal services to asylum-seeking women and children detained in Dilley, Texas. For almost ten years, Katie has worked to advance and protect the rights of noncitizens seeking humanitarian relief in the United States. Before her work with CARA, she ran a private practice in Houston, Texas where she focused exclusively on asylum cases. Katie holds a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law and her B.A. in History with Special Honors from the University of Texas at Austin. She is licensed to practice law in Texas and New York and speaks conversational Spanish.

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The Judicial Black Sites the Government Created to Speed Up Deportations

The Judicial Black Sites the Government Created to Speed Up Deportations

As the Trump administration continues to strip away due process in immigration courts, the recent creation of two “Immigration Adjudication Centers” is cause for concern. The two new facilities are called “Centers,” not “courts,” despite being places where judges decide whether to issue orders of deportation. The Centers came out of a “Caseload Reduction Plan” […]

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Violence Erupts at the Border as US Continues to Deny Rights to Asylum Seekers

Violence Erupts at the Border as US Continues to Deny Rights to Asylum Seekers

The situation in Tijuana, Mexico reached a boiling point on Sunday, after U.S. authorities fired tear gas at hundreds of migrants—including pregnant women and children—who had peacefully gathered earlier that morning to ask for asylum. Disturbing video footage, pictures, and stories have emerged depicting the mayhem, which came to a head after some migrants in […]

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Will the Trump Administration Begin Family Separations Again?

Will the Trump Administration Begin Family Separations Again?

The horrifying and tragic legacy of the Trump administration’s family separation policy—which allegedly ended by executive order in June this summer—is far from over. Even with many children still waiting to be reunited with their parents, the administration is considering resuming family separations once again. Nearly 250 migrant children reportedly remain separated from their parents. […]

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Disarray in Baltimore Immigration Court Is Emblematic of Systemic Issues

Written by on October 12, 2018 in Due Process & the Courts, Immigration Courts with 0 Comments
Disarray in Baltimore Immigration Court Is Emblematic of Systemic Issues

Overwhelmed immigration courts and massive court backlogs have long been a nation-wide problem. Hearings are regularly scheduled years in advance—in some jurisdictions, judges are scheduling hearings into 2022. This means that many immigrants are held in limbo for years, unable to move forward, while living with the uncertainty of whether or not they will be […]

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DHS Inspector General Issues Scathing Report on Trump’s Family Separation Policy

Written by on October 5, 2018 in Abuses, Enforcement, Humanitarian Protection with 0 Comments
DHS Inspector General Issues Scathing Report on Trump’s Family Separation Policy

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a special report this week revealing its findings following an investigation into the Trump administration’s contentious family separation policy.

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Government Uses Separated Children as Leverage to Coerce Parents Into Signing for Deportation

Government Uses Separated Children as Leverage to Coerce Parents Into Signing for Deportation

Among the many questions presented by the separation of immigrant families at the border is whether detained parents are being coerced into signing paperwork ensuring their deportation. Without knowing whether or when they would see their children again, many parents may have unintentionally waived their right to seek asylum in a desperate attempt to speed […]

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America Is Building Detention Camps for Immigrant Families in 2018

America Is Building Detention Camps for Immigrant Families in 2018

After an unprecedented public outcry last week, President Trump signed an executive order signaling an end to the government’s horrific practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. While the government-sanctioned separations appear to have stopped—at least for now—the Trump administration now appears to be planning a massive increase in family […]

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Here Is the Latest on President Trump’s Family Separation Policy

Here Is the Latest on President Trump’s Family Separation Policy

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday in response to public outcry about family separation – a horrific policy that has led to the forced separation of over 2,000 minor children from their parents. Though the order discusses an end to the callous form of family separation that has captured the nation’s attention in […]

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Immigrants Are Dying in ICE Custody, So We’re Demanding an Investigation

Immigrants Are Dying in ICE Custody, So We’re Demanding an Investigation

The government has a longstanding history of failing to provide adequate medical and mental health care to immigrants detained in the Denver Contract Detention Facility in Aurora, CO. This systemic failure has led to widespread insufficiencies within the facility—as well as the tragic death of two immigrants entrusted in its care. In response to this […]

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Undocumented Parents Trying to Reunite With Their Children May Face Deportation Under New Proposal

Written by on May 11, 2018 in Border Enforcement, Detention, Enforcement with 0 Comments
Undocumented Parents Trying to Reunite With Their Children May Face Deportation Under New Proposal

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may soon be checking the immigration status of all potential sponsors of children who arrive unaccompanied at the U.S border, as well as any adult members of the potential sponsor’s household. The new proposal to expand screening likely will have a chilling effect on immigrant communities, leading to unaccompanied […]

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