Mobile Pathways Receives $1M in Funds for Data As Evidence

Bartlomiej Skorupa

Mobile Pathways is thrilled to announce that we have raised $1 million of new funding to improve the lives of vulnerable immigrants! This historic fundraising series was made possible by a unique alliance of foundations and technology companies, including The Tides Foundation, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Twilio, Salesforce, and Hewlett Packard.

Four years ago, our founding team of lawyers, coders, and immigrants built a service to inform marginalized immigrant populations who cannot afford legal services about their rights. Today, we are still the first and only online platform that sends automated legal updates to immigrants via text or WhatsApp. We are beyond grateful to our deeply embedded grassroots immigration nonprofits who we partner with to provide digital transformation services, such as mass texts or automated updates about immigration cases. Altogether, we can reach marginalized immigrant communities at scale. 

To date, Mobile Pathways partners with over 140 immigration nonprofits and now reaches nearly 4,000,000 marginalized immigrants. As our nonprofit partners share information via our proprietary and secure online technology platform, we are able to see a wide range of data points about where immigration justice is failing.

"Data Science is fueling change in every aspect of our daily lives. The same can be applied to deliver speedy adjudication of immigration requests, and let's start by clearly understanding what the data tells us," says Poesy Chen, Co-Founder at Mobile Pathways.

To address the failings of the immigration justice system, we have collected over 100 million rows of immigration data. Mobile Pathways collected data from many sources, including our proprietary "MyCamino" platform, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and individual immigrants. 

Already, we are discovering alarming trends. 

Together with our Legal Defense Coalition partners, we have tracked 32,725 cases that underscore a dire situation for vulnerable immigrants. Cases are frequently rescheduled, and immigrants, particularly asylum seekers, wait a staggering 720 days to get their day in court. This nearly two-year holdup where a person's life hangs in the balance is double the wait time of many European nations. 

And as our trend analysis shows below, the situation is only worsening.

*Data collected by Mobile Pathways for 2022 is still being scraped and collected; final results for an increase in wait times could be higher than 65%

Our expansion as an impactful nonprofit will blaze new trails at the intersection of justice, technology, and data. Increased funding will allow us to make additional hires in early 2023 to improve and expand our immigrant nonprofit partnerships. First and foremost, our team must continue ensuring the success of our immigration advocate partners. Our immediate focus will be on accelerating the digital transformation of those partnerships so we can better serve the record-breaking 2 million people already in immigration court. 

And as our partnerships expand, we will get more data and then get a wider view of where the system is failing. Thanks to a generous grant from The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, the Mobile Pathways team will then begin using data and machine learning to articulate immigration court outcomes while seeking ways to increase trust in the immigration process.

"We can only transform data and machine learning outcomes into evidence-based insights and more humane policies when we tie technology to the frontlines of vulnerability." - Vilas Dhar, President, and Trustee, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

I'm thrilled to embark on this journey of uncovering the barriers immigrants face in our justice system. With a strong team, our nonprofit allies, and generous support from funders, we'll be able to demystify where immigrants are getting stuck in the process. Altogether we will unravel these issues, now and in the future.

“Recognizing that access to legal information is often a barrier to justice, we are proud to support Mobile Pathways, an innovative platform that provides immigrants the information they need to understand their rights and locate critical support services,” said Dawn Kwan, Senior Advisor at the Tides Foundation

Many thanks to the following foundations and technology companies united in the belief that everyone deserves access to justice to live a better life.