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.
Report a case outcome
Report the outcome of your case to help CGRS monitor decision-making trends and expand our resource library.
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.

Asylum and the Three Little Words that Can Spell Life or Death
CGRS Director Karen Musalo and Steve Legomsky, former Chief Counsel at USCIS, explain how the Board of Immigration Appeals has stacked the deck against Central American refugees, and how the Biden administration can right the course.
CGRS Urges Administration to Abandon Flawed Asylum Rule
CGRS has submitted a comment urging the Justice Department to abandon a proposed rule on asylum office jurisdiction that would lead to unjust denials of protection for people seeking asylum.
Expanding Access to Refugee Protections in Central America and Mexico
CGRS and our partners recommend steps for the Biden administration to increase access to protections in the Americas, allowing some refugees and migrants to seek safety closer to home.
CGRS Files Emergency Request to Inter-American Commission.
CGRS and our partners have filed an emergency request to the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights on behalf of asylum seekers endangered by the Biden administration's Title 42 policy.
Support Haitians Seeking Safety
CGRS is calling on the Biden administration to halt all deportation and expulsion flights to Haiti in the wake of the earthquake that ravaged the country. Learn how you can support Haitians leading relief efforts on the ground and those seeking safety in the U.S.
CGRS and Partners Launch National #WelcomeWithDignity Campaign to Transform Asylum

CGRS has joined over 80 national and regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations, community organizers, faith communities, and other advocates in launching 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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