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.

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 country specialists and health professionals who provide expert testimony in asylum cases. Experts can register for the database to connect with advocates representing asylum seekers.
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.

A child holding a backpack wading through a flooded street.
Climate Displacement Advocacy
CGRS is pursuing advocacy and litigation to confront the climate crisis. Our goal is to expand legal avenues to protection for climate or disaster-displaced people seeking refuge in the United States.
Crowd of protesters. Woman in foreground holds a sign that says Rights not Walls.
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.
Two young Haitian women walk along the street.
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.
Woman and children standing in a line behind wishes the children have written.
"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.
Tell President Biden #NoAsylumBan

The Biden administration has imposed a near-total asylum ban at the southern border. This repackaged Trump-era policy blocks most people from seeking asylum, placing refugee families, children, and adults in harm’s way.

Advocacy organizations and community members mobilized to submit over 50,000 comments on the rule in March. It's important that we keep speaking out and telling the administration: #NoAsylumBan!

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.

Stay Informed

Be the first to know about case updates, policy developments, and action opportunities.