The Immigration Court Observers Leaders Team: A 2021 Volunteer Award Recipient

Photography by Bill Cameron.   At the Fort Snelling Immigration Court, hearings are open to the public. However, few people attend these hearings to observe the realities immigrants face under our immigration and justice system. The volunteer Immigration Court Observers of The Advocates for Human Rights are changing that. They monitor the proceedings and collect priceless … Continue reading The Immigration Court Observers Leaders Team: A 2021 Volunteer Award Recipient

Celebrating Carrie Brasser: A 2021 Volunteer Award Recipient

Photography by Bill Cameron.  Carrie Brasser, a Minneapolis-based lawyer, is an inspiring volunteer for The Advocates for Human Rights who helps to make the organization’s work possible. Brasser began volunteering for The Advocates in 2018 and has been an enthusiastic volunteer since. Over the past three years, Brasser has participated in several projects for The Advocates, including representing clients in several asylum and immigration cases, traveling to Geneva as a member of the 2019 United Nations Study-Advocacy team, and participating in remote international advocacy in 2020 to brief members of … Continue reading Celebrating Carrie Brasser: A 2021 Volunteer Award Recipient

Once an Advocate, Always an Advocate: Patrick Finnegan

In the winter of 2004, Patrick Finnegan’s first-time volunteering with The Advocates as an interpreter was off to a rough start. “I managed to get myself into a fender bender on the way there,” Patrick remembers. “Worse, it was my error… The lawyer almost had to call for another interpreter.” Thankfully, he made it. The … Continue reading Once an Advocate, Always an Advocate: Patrick Finnegan

Blaise Masinga: The Journey to Regaining Self-Power

In a room full of refugees and asylum seekers, Blaise Masinga is reminded of the time when he was in their shoes. He had fled from South Africa to Minnesota, leaving behind his wife and two children. Pain, trauma, and uncertainty are still on the forefront of his mind when he thinks about that time. Similar to the journeys of many other asylum seekers, Blaise’s path to safety and reunification with his family was long, unpredictable, anxiety-filled, and lonesome.