Rebuilding our asylum system, fighting for safety and justice

Through coordinated litigation, advocacy, and training the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) is working to rebuild our asylum system and expand the United States’ promise of protection for those escaping persecution.

Our Mission

The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies defends the human rights of courageous refugees seeking asylum in the United States. With strategic focus and unparalleled legal expertise, CGRS champions the most challenging cases, fights for due process, and promotes policies that deliver safety and justice for refugees.

Defending Asylum Seekers in the Courts

CGRS undertakes strategic litigation to advance sound asylum laws and protect due process rights. Our current docket includes federal lawsuits challenging anti-asylum border policies and high-impact appellate cases that present opportunities to restore paths to protection.

ImmDef v. Mayorkas
CGRS is co-counsel in a lawsuit challenging the original implementation of Trump's illegal "Remain in Mexico" policy.
AsylumWorks v. Mayorkas
We won a major victory defeating Trump administration rules that drastically restricted asylum seekers' access to work permits.
Huisha-Huisha v. Mayorkas
We're back in court fighting for an end to the illegal Title 42 policy, which endangers families and children seeking safety.
Matter of A-B-
We successfully advocated for Attorney General Garland to vacate the Trump-era ruling in Matter of A-B-, which slammed the door on refugee survivors of domestic violence.
Pangea II v. DHS
We blocked a sweeping Trump rule that would have created nearly insurmountable barriers to asylum.
Technical Assistance Center

CGRS provides free expert consultation, litigation resources, and training to attorneys and advocates working with asylum seekers.

Access assistance
Access litigation resources - practice advisories, country conditions evidence, sample briefs, and more - to support your case.
Find an expert witness
Search our database of qualified country specialists and health professionals who provide expert testimony in asylum cases.
Attend an upcoming training
Learn more about CGRS’s upcoming trainings and webinars.
Advocating for Just Policies

We advocate for the fair and dignified treatment of asylum seekers and promote policies that honor our country’s legal obligations to refugees. We call on the Biden administration to act swiftly to restore access to life-saving protection.

CGRS Urges Administration to End Dedicated Docket
CGRS and our partners sent a letter to the Biden administration raising urgent concerns relating to the fast-track court process for asylum-seeking families known as the Dedicated Docket, and calling on the administration to end the Docket.
CGRS Files Report with Inter-American Commission on Sexual Violence in Haiti
CGRS and our partners have filed a report with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights connecting the sharp increase in sexual violence in Haiti to the practices of the country’s unconstitutional and U.S.-supported regime.
"Deploring the Violence, Abandoning the Victim"
CGRS Director Karen Musalo, CGRS Staff Attorney Anne Dutton, and Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS, explain how the Biden administration's needless delay of "particular social group" regulations has put people fleeing gangs at risk.
CGRS Denounces Expansion of Title 42 to Venezuelans
The Biden administration’s decision to double down on and expand its Title 42 expulsion policy will put Venezuelans seeking safety in harm's way. CGRS is calling on the administration to abandon the deadly policy, once and for all.
Join National #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign to Transform Asylum

CGRS has joined over 100 national and regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations, community organizers, faith communities, and other advocates in a landmark campaign to transform how the United States welcomes people seeking asylum. Join our movement and take the #WelcomeWithDignity pledge!

Support CGRS’s work

Your support for CGRS goes to work every day, protecting the human rights of women, children, and LGBTQ+ people seeking refuge in the United States.

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