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Our Work

The Pennsylvania ​Immigrant Family Unity Project (PAIFUP) is a collaborative of nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania formed to achieve universal representation for detained immigrants in removal proceedings in the state. Launched in 2019, PAIFUP is Pennsylvania’s first publicly funded defense counsel project for detained immigrants.

There are no eligibility criteria other than income and a lack of private counsel. We do not exclude individuals based on prior criminal convictions, residency, or any other reason. Unlike other legal providers, our high quality, zealous representation is merits-blind. Clients are represented without considering the likelihood that the case will have a particular outcome in the immigration court. We are committed to our clients and will represent them throughout their entire case until a final decision is made.  


We recognize the leadership of immigrant communities in the fight to create a more just immigration system and strive for our work to reflect the needs and lived experiences of those experiencing deportation and detention.



Our screenings are completed both in person and telephonically. We identify eligible individuals and randomly select clients. 



We connect with our clients through screenings and community referrals. We aim to represent clients from the beginning stages of their cases.



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ICE Facilities

Our work has taken us to many ICE facilities across Pennsylvania. We pride ourselves on being accessible to all of our clients, even if a client is transferred to a different jurisdiction. 



We work alongside our clients to advocate for their release. This includes final decisions on their immigration case or securing release through bond or parole. 



An immigration case is a long, grueling process that consists of many hearings spanning several months. We are present every step of the way. 

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