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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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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Customs and Border Protection Is Breaking the Law by Refusing Entry to the Migrant Caravan Members

Customs and Border Protection Is Breaking the Law by Refusing Entry to the Migrant Caravan Members

Recent reports from the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Mexico indicate that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have refused entry to a caravan of up to 200 migrant men, women, and children. Most, if not all, of the migrants seeking humanitarian relief in the United States continue to wait to be processed […]

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A New Official ICE Policy Calls for the Detention of Pregnant Women

Written by on March 30, 2018 in Asylum, Detention, Enforcement, Interior Enforcement with 0 Comments
A New Official ICE Policy Calls for the Detention of Pregnant Women

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on Thursday that it was ending its general practice of releasing pregnant women from immigration jail. Under its new policy, pregnant women will only be released from detention on a case-by-case basis, ending the presumption of release. Now, ICE will detain “only those whose detention is necessary to effectuate removal, […]

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Lawsuit Challenges the Government’s Policy of Indefinitely Detaining Asylum Seekers

Lawsuit Challenges the Government’s Policy of Indefinitely Detaining Asylum Seekers

A class action lawsuit was filed on March 15, 2018 challenging the U.S. government’s practice of detaining asylum seekers indefinitely and argues the practice is an attempt to deter future asylum seekers from seeking safety in the United States. The suit claims that the Department of Homeland Security has violated U.S. law by refusing to […]

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Immigrants Rights Group Sues U.S. Government Over Family Separation at the Border

Written by on March 2, 2018 in Abuses, Asylum, Border Enforcement, Enforcement with 0 Comments
Immigrants Rights Group Sues U.S. Government Over Family Separation at the Border

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit this week to demand the immediate release and reunification of an asylum-seeking Congolese mother and her 7 year-old daughter, who had been forcibly separated by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers at the U.S.-Mexico border last November. The lawsuit argues that the separation of Ms. L. […]

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Oversight Agency Finds ICE Improperly Obtained Contract for Texas Family Detention Center

Written by on March 1, 2018 in Abuses, Detention, Enforcement with 0 Comments
Oversight Agency Finds ICE Improperly Obtained Contract for Texas Family Detention Center

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a damning report this week, finding that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) improperly modified an older, existing contract with the City of Eloy, Arizona to create the notorious family detention center in Dilley, Texas—more than 900 miles away. Rather than contracting […]

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