EAHR POLICIES & PROCEDURES
EAHR CURRENTLY COLLABORATES WITH MORE THAN 50 LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES TO ARRANGE EVALUATIONS FOR APPLICANTS IN CRITICAL NEED OF THIS EVIDENTIARY SUPPORT.
The Evaluation Alliance for Human Rights (EAHR) works with legal representatives and legal aid organizations in Arizona and Washington to coordinate pro-bono forensic medical and psychological evaluations for asylum-seekers and applicants to other humanitarian-based forms of immigration protection.
At this time, EAHR is only able to offer program services to applicants who meet the following criteria:
Seeking humanitarian-based immigration relief/benefit in the United States, such as Asylum, WOR, CAT, T-Visa, U-Visa, VAWA, or SIJS
Located in Arizona or Washington (including applicants currently detained in these states)
Represented in their immigration case(s) by an attorney or accredited representative who has helped prepare a case declaration or similar narrative outlining key events related to their immigration claim
Limited financial means to afford a paid or low-bono evaluation from another source
Before submitting a referral here, please carefully review the program policies and procedures detailed on this page and contact our team with any questions.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
REFERRAL PROCESS AND ELIGIBILITY
At this time, the Evaluation Alliance for Human Rights (EAHR) is only able to provide evaluations for applicants seeking humanitarian-based forms of immigration protection who have legal representation; evaluation requests must be submitted by their immigration lawyer or accredited representative. EAHR is unable to accept evaluation requests submitted by the applicant, family member, case manager or community representative.
Referrals must include the submission of signed consent forms and a full draft of the applicant’s case declaration, in addition to any other available documents that may be relevant to the requested evaluation(s), such as medical and mental health records, police reports, or USCIS Request for Evidence letters.
Please upload your client's documents to the IRC's secure Box platform, as detailed on our referral page.
EAHR serves immigrants with financial need who are unable to afford a paid or low-bono evaluation from another source. The EAHR referral form requests information regarding the legal fees charged to the applicant as a means of assessing financial capacity. If there are additional circumstances that the EAHR Support Team should take into consideration when assessing your client’s eligibility for program services, please indicate them on the referral form.
For applicants in immigration detention: We recognize the significant need for evaluations in immigration detention, and we are actively exploring ways in which we can safely arrange detention-based medical and psychological evaluations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact your local EAHR Staff directly to discuss possible options for any detained clients.
For applicants with violent criminal histories: Individuals with criminal histories are subject to the same eligibility criteria as other applicants. Please contact your local EAHR Staff directly regarding potential client referrals and safety protocols for volunteers conducting in-person evaluations. EAHR does not provide recidivism risk or diminished capacity evaluations at this time but can discuss your client's eligibility for other types of medical and psychological evaluation services.
INFORMATION PROTECTION AND SECURITY
The Evaluation Alliance uses secure methods for sharing documents that contain applicants' health and legal information, including Outlook-encrypted emails and password-protected Box files. We ask that referring legal representatives use the IRC's Box platform to share referral documents and feedback on affidavit drafts.
Visit our Referral page for more information about uploading referral documents to our program's Box portal.
If you encounter difficulties using Box to share time-sensitive feedback or case information, please take similar measures to send applicant information securely. Virtru is one such free encryption software that is available for public use, and we ask that you use this or another secure encryption or file sharing system (e.g, Hushmail, Barracuda, Egress, MailHippo) when sending emails and documents that contain sensitive/identifiable health or legal information.
EVALUATION LOGISTICS AND EXPECTATIONS
It is the responsibility of the referring legal representative to coordinate independent interpretation for their client’s evaluation(s). The interpreter cannot be an advocate (e.g., caseworker, attorney, care provider), family member or close friend of the applicant. The interpreter must be at least 18 years old. Volunteer evaluators reserve the right to reschedule or end an evaluation appointment early if they find the interpretation to be unsatisfactory. If you do not have the resources to coordinate interpretation, please discuss alternative options with EAHR staff.
It is the referring legal representative’s responsibility to confirm that the applicant receives evaluation appointment information and arrives punctually to their scheduled appointment. If the applicant needs to reschedule the assessment, we ask that the applicant and/or their representative notify the Evaluation Alliance Support Team at least 24 hours in advance. We also ask that the applicant contact the designated Evaluation Alliance Support Team member on-call for their appointment to notify us in the event of any delays or issues attending their appointment that may arise on the day-of.
Please note that we may not be able to reschedule missed evaluations. In consideration of volunteer evaluators’ limited time and availability, Evaluation Alliance Support Team staff are not able to guarantee rescheduling appointments in the event of short-notice cancellations. If an applicant misses a rescheduled appointment, other applicants on the waitlist will be given precedent to ensure that others can be supported.
An evaluation appointment does not guarantee that an affidavit will be provided for the applicant’s case. Volunteer evaluators always reserve the right to decline or retract an affidavit at any time. Evaluation Alliance Support Staff will notify the applicant’s legal representative if the volunteer evaluator declines to write an affidavit for the applicant’s case following the evaluation appointment.
To ensure the safety of applicants while maintaining the independence of the evaluator, a qualified Evaluation Alliance Support Team member will be on-call for every evaluation appointment and available to provide urgent crisis support as needed (e.g., assessment and intervention in cases of suicidal ideation). The Evaluation Alliance Team does not provide ongoing mental health or case management services. However, in some cases, the Evaluation Alliance Support Team may be able to provide initial referrals to other case management and/or counseling programs. For more information, please email your local EAHR office. In cases of emergency, please call 9-1-1 or a local crisis line.
AFFIDAVIT DRAFT REVIEW AND FEEDBACK EXPECTATIONS
All evaluations are conducted by volunteer clinicians and health providers who donate their expertise and time. Given the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent public health restrictions on many aspects of our lives, it may take longer than normal for our volunteer evaluators to complete an affidavit. If there are any changes to your client’s case and deadlines, please contact our team immediately. We cannot guarantee that an evaluation will be completed within the requested time frame, and our volunteer evaluators reserve the right to decline or retract their evaluations and findings at any time.
On average, draft medical affidavits are completed within 1-2 weeks of the evaluation appointment and draft psychological affidavits within 3-8 weeks, but many factors can impact this timeline. The Evaluation Alliance Support Team will inform the applicant’s legal representative of the evaluator’s anticipated timeline for drafting the affidavit.
Once the draft affidavit is available for review, we ask that legal representatives respond with any feedback, questions, etc. within 10 business days. This helps ensure that volunteer evaluators can punctually review requested revisions, respond to any questions or concerns, and sign/finalize documents; we cannot guarantee volunteers’ availability to accommodate delayed feedback or signature requests. Additionally, as many of our volunteer evaluators prefer to work on one evaluation at a time and finalize the affidavit in progress before considering new referrals, prompt draft review increases our capacity to serve other applicants.
Tracked Changes/Comments are the preferred method for providing feedback on an affidavit document; no edits should be directly made to the affidavit text by anyone other than the evaluator. Legal representatives’ questions and feedback are encouraged. We ask that legal representatives include a brief explanation of context/reasoning with their feedback, so that volunteer evaluators can carefully consider requests to update or clarify information in the affidavit text.
Volunteer evaluators always reserve the right to accept or decline any requested revisions, as well as the right to decline or retract their affidavits at any point, in accordance with their clinical and ethical judgment.
COMMUNICATION WITH EVALUATORS
In an effort to protect the independence and objectivity of our volunteers, we ask that legal representatives refrain from directly contacting any EAHR volunteers without their express permission. This includes but is not limited to the following: requesting a paid or volunteer evaluation, providing case information, or providing feedback on an affidavit. We ask that you email all requests, questions, and feedback regarding affidavits or policies to EAHR Staff.