The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) has recognized Morrison & Foerster with a 2020 Beacon of Justice Award in recognition of the firm’s pro bono commitment to individuals fleeing the U.S. border.
Devoting more than 27,000 hours over the course of several years, the firm won a ground-breaking decision in February 2020 when a federal district court in Arizona granted a permanent injunction holding that the Constitution requires U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities to provide any migrant detainee who is held longer than 48 hours with a bed, blanket, shower, nutritious food, clean water, and a medical assessment. To secure the precedent-setting verdict, MoFo worked closely with co-counsel from the ACLU of Arizona, the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition to this major litigation commitment, lawyers across the firm spent nearly 12,000 hours in 2019 representing immigrants and refugees in a wide variety of cases, including at least two asylum applications that began as a family reunification case for a father and daughter who were forcibly separated after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018. Alongside the New York Civil Liberties Union, MoFo undertook a lawsuit filed in late 2018 to challenge policy changes by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) that resulted in thousands of children being detained by the government in group care for weeks despite the immediate availability of family members and others to house them in the community during the pendency of their immigration proceedings. The firm also represented a number of faith-based organizations as amici curiae in immigration cases this year.
You can view the list of firms recognized with the Beacon of Justice Award on NLADA’s website.