detained deportation defense staff

Linda Corchado, Esq.
Director of Legal Services

Nicolas Palazzo, Esq.
Staff Attorney
HIAS Border Fellow

Heidi Cerneka, Esq.
Maryknoll Lay Missioner Fellow

Brooke Bischoff, Esq.

Rosa De Jong
Lead Paralegal

David Jackson

Connie Lara


about the program

The Detained Deportation Defense Program serves detained migrants in the El Paso Processing Center, Otero Service Center, and West Texas Detention Center, providing high-quality, free, deportation defense services. The heart of our Detained Deportation Defense is our commitment to providing full-representation to indigent asylum seekers. The Detained Deportation Defense Program also runs a Credible Fear Interview preparation program, and maintains a pro-bono volunteer program that provides meaningful services to detained migrants while providing educational opportunities to attorneys and paralegals. 

The Detained Deportation Defense Program reaches hundreds of detained migrants each year. Services include:

  • Appeals

  • Asylum

  • Bond Requests

  • Cancellation of Removal

  • Credible Fear Interview (CFI) Prep

  • Habeas Corpus

  • Parole

  • Pro Se Assistance with asylum applications, including assistance with document preparation and translation.

about asylum

Asylum is a relief given to immigrants who fear returning to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution by the government or a group the government cannot control on the basis of race, membership in a social group, political opinion, religion, or nationality. 

additional information

For more information on the Detained Deportation Defense Program, please email If you are interested in working with our Detained Team pro-bono, please visit our Pro-Bono Program page.

For consultations with our legal staff, please visit the link below.