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Students Devote Spring Break to Helping Migrants in El Paso

Students devoted their spring break to serving asylum seekers at the Texas border in 2019 Alexandra Sobieski, Max Soucat, Sandra Graise and Rebecca Swaintek (Darragh Moriarty is not in the photo)

March 12, 2019

Five students have traveled to El Paso, Texas to work with immigrants seeking entry in the U.S. during the spring break.

The students will work with Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, an El Paso-based organization that provides humanitarian assistance in the form of deportation defense and representation of detained asylum seekers.

The trip was organized by 2L Rebecca Swaintek, who recruited four other students to join her: 1L Sandra Graise, 2L Alexandra Sobieski, LLM student Max Soucat and 3L Darragh Moriarty (not photographed).

Swaintek also secured donations totaling $5,620 from the American Bar Association, the Drexel University Office of Global Engagement, the law school’s Student Bar Association and Education Law Society as well as private contributions via GoFundMe to support the students’ travels.

The students will spend much of their time in detention centers, preparing detained migrants for “credible fear” interviews that represent a pivotal moment in their efforts to secure asylum. Swaintek and two other members of the delegation are fluent in Spanish.

“These people are fleeing violence and persecution,” Swaintek said. “They don’t know who to trust.”

These interviews are a preliminary step in the lengthy process, Swaintek said, noting that it will take years before any of the individuals will be deemed eligible for asylum.