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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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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DOJ Threatens to Turn Immigration Judges Into ‘Assembly-Line Workers’

DOJ Threatens to Turn Immigration Judges Into ‘Assembly-Line Workers’

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly intending to implement numerical quotas on Immigration Judges as a way of evaluating their performance. This move would undermine judicial independence, threaten the integrity of the immigration court system, and cause massive due process violations. As it currently stands, Immigration Judges are not rated based on the number […]

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Why Are More Pregnant Women Being Held in ICE Detention?

Written by on September 26, 2017 in Abuses, Detention, Enforcement with 0 Comments
Why Are More Pregnant Women Being Held in ICE Detention?

Pregnant women held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody are required to be released, as detention frequently leads to extreme stress, depression, and in some cases, miscarriage. But over recent months, service providers have witnessed an increase in the number of pregnant women detained by ICE and the length of time they spend […]

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Parents of Children Fleeing Violence Targeted for Enforcement

Parents of Children Fleeing Violence Targeted for Enforcement

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has reportedly begun targeting undocumented parents and guardians who allegedly paid human smugglers to bring their children to the United States to escape violence and death in their home countries. A recent two-month sweep conducted by ICE resulted in the arrest of at least 400 individuals. However, despite their stated […]

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Government Terminates Protection Program for At-Risk Central American Children

Written by on August 17, 2017 in Enforcement, Family-Based Immigration with 0 Comments
Government Terminates Protection Program for At-Risk Central American Children

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it was terminating the CAM (Central American Minors) Parole Program, a special program which allows certain at-risk children in Central America to enter the United States and be reunited with their legally residing parents. This is yet another example of the administration’s increasingly cruel disregard for vulnerable immigrant […]

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Three-Year-Old Immigrant Child Released After Two Years of Detention

Three-Year-Old Immigrant Child Released After Two Years of Detention

An immigration judge ordered the immediate release of a three-year-old immigrant child and his mother from a detention center in rural Pennsylvania on Monday, stating that it was one of the most sympathetic cases for release he had encountered in his career. The child’s release marks what will hopefully be a positive turn for immigrant […]

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Trump Administration Targeting Immigrant Children Is a New Low

Trump Administration Targeting Immigrant Children Is a New Low

The recent trend of broadly labeling unaccompanied immigrant children as criminals and gang members is just the latest in a series of attacks on some of the most vulnerable individuals in the U.S. immigration system. In reality, most immigrant children from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are fleeing the very gangs they are purportedly members […]

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Leaks Reveal Administration’s Plans to Expand Expedited Removal

Leaks Reveal Administration’s Plans to Expand Expedited Removal

The Trump administration has threatened to expand its use of a fast-track removal process, which could lead to the deportation of thousands of immigrants with valid claims for humanitarian relief or who have family members in the United States. The Washington Post recently reported obtaining a 13-page draft memorandum from the White House which outlines […]

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