News from the fight for freedom, safety and dignity for all immigrants detained in Pennsylvania.
February 2021 | Issue 9
January Recap
Happy Black History Month and Lunar New Year! This month we want to express gratitude to our partner organizations working to achieve justice in marginalized communities.

For PAIFUP, January brought more frustrating experiences at York County Prison where our clients continue to battle COVID-19. Despite the massive infection rates and the death of a staff member at the facility, some of our clients from other prisons have been transferred to York.
Client Success: Gabby
Gabby became a PAIFUP client through a referral from Asian Americans United (AAU). Gabby has been detained since April 2019 at York County Prison. She was apprehended when she entered the United States asking for asylum. She was deemed an “arriving alien” and was subject to mandatory detention until her case was complete. Unfortunately, she lost her immigration case and the appeal. After that, she decided to stop fighting.
ICE told her she would be deported, but months went by and nothing happened. After six months of waiting for her deportation, her PAIFUP attorney started looking into her case and pressuring ICE to release her. Gabby's attorney asked for a bond hearing to force the Government to make the case for why she still needed to be detained. Gabby's PAIFUP attorney, along with support from AAU, began preparing. The morning of her hearing, ICE contacted her PAIFUP attorney and they agreed to release Gabby to her family in New York. She will still have a deportation order, but will not have to be in detention while the Government tries unsuccessfully to deport her. Gabby is thrilled to be joining her cousins in New York and to be out of the facility that caused her significant emotional and physical hardship for nearly two years.

The client's name has been changed to protect anonymity.
Good news!
Our PAIFUP attorney, Lilah, met with her client, Michael, whose story we shared with you in December. Enjoy this photo of the two of them celebrating his release in person!
Staff Highlight
Jonah is a supervising attorney at the Nationalities Service Center.


"This project begins to address a profound human rights failure in this country, the lack of guaranteed assistance of counsel for noncitizens the government is trying to deport. This is especially true of noncitizens whom the government has decided to detain during their proceedings. Most of the people deported out of the York Immigration Court, which handles detained cases in PA, do not have the assistance of a lawyer — and deportation can be a life or death proposition.”
Stronger Together: Meet Our Affiliates
Free Migration Project represents immigrant clients in their legal proceedings, provides legal support and training to organizers and advocates, engages in public education and outreach, litigates in the public interest, and advocates for fair and open immigration laws. Free Migration Project envisions a world where free movement of people is the legal norm. They call for recognition of a human right to migrate and the abolition of deportation. Learn more about their work here.
In Other News
Addressing Anti-Asian Attacks With Transformative Justice

In recent weeks, there have been over 20 attacks on Asian businesses and people, mostly elders, with little to no coverage from the mainstream news outlets.

Read more
The COVID-19 Impacts You May Not See

In Part Two of NRDC's “Pandemic at Work” series, three undocumented immigrants share their struggles for a paycheck, a future, and, simply, acknowledgment.

Read more
Biden urged to stop the deportation of Black immigrants

Prominent Black lawmakers are urging the Biden administration to stop expelling migrants to nations such as Haiti that are engulfed in political turmoil, fearing that they could be harmed or killed.

Read more
Questions? Comments? News worth sharing? Send Karina, our PAIFUP coordinator, an email at

The Pennsylvania Immigrant Family Unity Project (PAIFUP) is a collaborative of nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania formed in order to achieve universal representation for detained immigrants in removal proceedings in PA.