The Immigration Impact Lab ("the Lab") is CAIR Coalition’s first concerted appellate impact litigation project. The Lab team seek to reduce the disproportionate legal injustices detained immigrant adults and children face by expanding cutting-edge impact litigation to engender systematic change through legal precedent that benefits broad groups of immigrants.

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Every day, we at CAIR Coalition witness the injustices that the detained immigrant men, women, and children we serve increasingly face in the American immigration detention and deportation system.

Through impact cases in our Lab, we respond proactively to these injustices via appeals on issues that have the potential to make better law for immigrants.


In collaboration with our pro bono partners, we experiment with cutting-edge impact litigation in courts throughout the Fourth Circuit, including Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas.

With the Lab, we develop novel litigation and leverage limited resources for the maximum impact, presenting a united front to improve the law for all immigrant communities and better protect the due process and liberty rights of immigrants at risk of detention and deportation.

Several cases CAIR Coalition's Lab has co-counseled, mentored, or provided amicus curiae support in have helped create precedent that improves the law for broad groups of immigrants, including:

  • J.S.G. v. Stirrup et al., Civil Case No. SAG-20-1026 (D.Md. April 26, 2020) 
  • O.A. and S.M.S.R. v. Trump, 404 F. Supp. 3d 109 (D.D.C. 2019) (co-counsel with Hogan Lovells, RAICES, joined with case led by Williams & Connelly, Human Rights First, and the National Immigrant Justice Center)
  • Bah v. Barr, et al., No. 1:19-CV-641, 2019 WL 4247823 (E.D. Va. Sept. 6, 2019) (co-counsel with Bryan Cave)
  • Obando-Segura v. Whitaker, No. GLR-17-3190, 2019 WL 423412 (D. Md. Feb. 1, 2019) (co-counsel with Arnold & Porter)
  • Martinez v. Sessions, 892 F.3d 655 (4th Cir. 2018) (amici curiae along with the University of Maryland School of Law Immigration Clinic, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers' Guild, and the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, participated in oral arguments)
  • Mauricio-Vasquez v. Whitaker, 910 F.3d 134 (4th Cir. 2018) (co-counsel with Wiley Rein)
  • Bado v. United States, 186 A.3d 1243 (D.C. 2018) (amicus curiae) 
  • Sotnikau v. Lynch, 846 F.3d 731 (4th Cir. 2017) (pro bono mentored O'Melveny & Myers)
  • Castendet-Lewis v. Sessions, 855 F.3d 253 (4th Cir. 2017) (pro bono mentored Gibson Dunn)
  • Mauricio-Vasquez v. Crawford, No. 1:16-cv-01422 (AJT), 2017 WL 1476349 (E.D. Va. Apr. 24, 2017) (co-counsel with Wiley Rein)
  • Etienne v. Lynch, 813 F.3d 135 (4th Cir. 2015) (amici curiae with the National Immigration Project for the National Lawyers' Guild)
  • Omargharib v. Holder, 775 F.3d 192 (4th Cir. 2014) (amici curiae with Immigrant & Refugee Appellate Center)
  • Temu v. Holder, 740 F.3d 887 (4th Cir. 2014) (co-counsel with McDermott, Will & Emery)
  • Garcia v. Gonzales, 455 F.3d 465 (4th Cir. 2006) (pro bono mentored)

If you have any questions about the Immigration Impact Lab, please contact Adina Appelbaum, Program Director, at