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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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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“Baby Jails” Bills Die a Slow Death

“Baby Jails” Bills Die a Slow Death

As the legislative session in Texas drew to a close on Monday, immigration advocates around the country celebrated the death of the “baby jails” bill—a measure that would have licensed Texas family detention centers as “child-care facilities.” Senate Bill 1018 was the latest attempt to lower state standards so that private prisons could legally detain […]

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Expedited Removal Hurts the Most Vulnerable In an Already Complicated Immigration System

Expedited Removal Hurts the Most Vulnerable In an Already Complicated Immigration System

The government often relies on “fast track” deportation methods to bypass due process protections in an effort to more rapidly process asylum seekers who come to the United States seeking humanitarian protection. One such deportation method, expedited removal, disadvantages the most vulnerable non-citizens currently in the United States: women and their children held in detention […]

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Former Leader of Anti-Immigrant Group Now Leads USCIS Oversight Office

Former Leader of Anti-Immigrant Group Now Leads USCIS Oversight Office

The Trump administration continues to stack its deck with key players in the anti-immigrant movement, most recently naming Julie Kirchner as the new Ombudsman for the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) department. Kirchner, the former executive director of one of the nation’s most prominent anti-immigrant groups, will be tasked with improving the quality of immigration […]

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