The funding, which includes $900,000 raised through a crowdfunding effort mounted by Together Rising and a $250,000 grant from the James Irvine Foundation, will support the clinic's efforts to ensure that children held in immigration detention centers are treated humanely. The gift from Together Rising will fund two legal fellows for three years, while the Irvine Foundation grant will support the overarching work of the clinic, including efforts to ensure compliance with the Flores settlement, a 1997 agreement that established basic standards for the treatment of juvenile migrant detainees.
The gifts will "allow the clinic and the law school to significantly increase monitoring, oversight, and support of migrant children in detention," said Karen Charney, executive director of development and alumni relations at the law school.
Together Rising launched its crowdfunding campaign after reports emerged in June of inadequate food, water, and sanitation at a detention facility in Clint, Texas, where Holly S. Cooper, co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic, was part of a team assessing conditions at the facility. While the campaign initially sought to raise $240,000 to fund one fellow for two years, donations topped $2.6 million after seven days. The remaining funds will be disbursed to other organizations working on behalf of detained children.
The funds will help the clinic "expand the reach and impact of the lifesaving work they have already been doing," said Together Rising program manager Gloria Goeres, and will create "meaningful change for these detained children."