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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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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Need for Greater Oversight in Immigration Detention, Says Report

Written by on February 21, 2018 in Detention, Enforcement with 0 Comments
Need for Greater Oversight in Immigration Detention, Says Report

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) claims that a significant expansion of immigration detention is required to meet “operational needs” in light of the agency’s shifting policies and ramped up immigration enforcement under the Trump administration.

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Three Year Anniversary of Family Detention Center Is Sad Reminder of America’s Cruelest Immigration Policy Practice

Three Year Anniversary of Family Detention Center Is Sad Reminder of America’s Cruelest Immigration Policy Practice

December marks the three-year anniversary of the opening of the country’s largest family detention center for non-citizen mothers and their minor children located in Dilley, Texas. Referred to as a “baby jail” since it holds children under one year of age there, the opening of the Dilley family detention center was the Obama administration’s response […]

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The Trump Administration Is Separating Children From Asylum-Seeking Parents at the Border

The Trump Administration Is Separating Children From Asylum-Seeking Parents at the Border

An alarming trend along the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated within the last year: the inhumane practice of separating immigrant children from their parents at the hands of U.S. immigration officials. Not only is this practice deeply traumatic for the families involved, it flies in the face of established U.S. and international law. In response to […]

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Mexican Nationals and Detained Individuals Are Uniquely Disadvantaged in Immigration Court, Data Finds

Mexican Nationals and Detained Individuals Are Uniquely Disadvantaged in Immigration Court, Data Finds

Immigrants facing deportation fare far better if they have a competent attorney representing them. For example, studies show that for asylum seekers, representation generally doubles the likelihood of being granted asylum. For many, the ability to secure competent representation in immigration court is truly a matter of life and death.  Yet more than 80 percent […]

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