With so many changes ahead for American politics, many are asking big questions about immigrants and immigration. Under the new presidency, will legal statuses be revoked? Will DACA remain in place? These major shifts in politics impact over 42 million immigrants living in the U.S.
The biggest question is how do we prepare for policies that could change our day-to-day lives? The population asking this question the most are America’s immigrants and those who work to support them.
Organizations Impacting Immigration
As an immigrant-founded and led company that serves LEP populations in the U.S., we want to connect our clients with these answers. To do so, here are some incredible immigrant rights and services groups that we want to spotlight and recommend:
1. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Location: Various in Washington State
Mission: “Northwest Immigrant Rights Project promotes justice by defending and advancing the rights of immigrants through direct legal services, systemic advocacy, and community education.”
Did you know: Immigration defendants are not granted right to an attorney?
In cities like Tacoma, WA where the NW Detention Center is located, this means over 92% of cases go unrepresented because defendants cannot afford legal aid. This is where NWIRP steps in.
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project has offices in Seattle, Granger, Wenatchee, and Tacoma. Every year, NWIRP serves over 10,000 individuals from over 150 countries with pro bono free legal services and impact litigation. NWIRP’s community education helps to inform communities and immigrants facing legal concerns on topics like DACA, Notario Fraud, and basic rights. They also offer free Immigration 101 rights and policy trainings throughout the state for social service providers and other groups involved with helping immigrant populations.
Immigration Impact: The only pro bono free legal service provider in the NW, providing direct legal assistance to over 10,000 people.
For more information, visit https://www.nwirp.org/, or connect with them on social media @NWIRP.
Location: San Antonio, TX
Mission: “RAICES promotes justice by providing free and low cost Legal Services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in central and South Texas”
Did you know: At least 63% of refugee children qualify for protections under U.S. law? RAICES has developed their largest aid program and testified before congress on this very statistic. RAICES is a free and low cost legal service provider based out of San Antonio, TX. Over the last thirty or so years, this organization has stepped up in a big way to address the unaccompanied minor humanitarian crisis. Although their children’s program is their largest aid service, RAICES also works to help detained survivors of torture, asylees, adult victims of crime, and refugees of all ages. Located nearby to two major family detention centers (Karnes County Residential Center and South Texas Family Residential Center), RAICES works to provide legal aid, provisions, and reunification to families living in harsh, transitory conditions. Other unique programs include the opportunity to support and fill a refugee’s backpack for their bus journey across the states to reunite with family or RAICES’ refugee shelter provided at Casa de Raices.
Immigration Impact: Six distinct programs to support refugees, unaccompanied minors, and many others.
Our Favorite Resources from RAICES:
For more information, visit https://www.raicestexas.org/, or connect with them on social media @RAICESTEXAS. (#ProtectRefugees)
3. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Mission: CHIRLA’s mission is to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants.
Did you know: As of 2013, nearly half of America’s immigrant population was Limited English Proficient (LEP)?
This makes it incredibly difficult to access needed information to answer pressing questions about immigration policy and rights. CHIRLA actively addresses this need by translating their website into over 100 languages! The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles offers not just immigration legal aid and policy advocacy but also a variety of easily accessible community education and informational opportunities. Especially unique is CHIRLA’s immigration hotline.
The hotline, reachable at 1-888-6CHIRLA (1-888-624-4752), is open 24/7 and offers bilingual immigrant assistance. They also host a variety of community events, outreach campaigns, and education forums and coordinate a community organizing network for immigration reform. If there are not any “Know Your Rights” campaigns offered in your area (such as those through NWIRP in Washington), you can contact CHIRLA to request access to informational brochures and video workshops.
Immigration Impact: Providing easily accessible information and advocacy to the immigrant community through their unique hotline, online, and in-person resources.
For more information, visit http://www.chirla.org/, or connect with them on social media @CHIRLA.
4. Americans for Immigrant Justice
Location: Miami, FL
Mission: To promote and protect the basic human rights of immigrants through a unique combination of free direct services, impact litigation, policy reform, and public education at local, state, and national levels.
Did you know: HuffPost recently released a list of organizations that are essential to support in a Trump presidency? Americans for Immigrant Justice made the list in a very big way. According to HuffPost, “This organization, and others like it, will prove crucial to advocacy under a Trump administration, particularly with the president-elect’s divisive rhetoric surrounding Syrian refugees.”
Americans for Immigrant Justice is a non-profit law firm, serving individual cases in Miami, Florida and using this experience to advocate on a national level. With an especially high LEP and immigrant population, Florida is a “national testing ground for immigration policies.” In addition to its extensive and reputable legal aid programs, AI Justice regularly produces reports and research, Congressional testimony, and petitions to advocate for reform at a national level.
Immigration Impact: A nationally recognized advocacy program providing direct legal immigration services, helping nearly 90,000 immigrants since its founding.
Our Favorite Resources from AI Justice:
- Reports and Research on Key Immigration Issues
Right now, access to quality, reliable, translated materials about policy changes and rights is more important than ever; these four organizations are in your area to advocate for you and help you find this information.
However, as incredible as these four are, it’s tough to limit our list of amazing immigration advocacy and aid organizations to just a handful. As a bonus, here are two major national policy centers that can be easily accessed online for relevant resources and information.
Visit their websites to learn more and access trustworthy content on immigration policies and rights.
- California Immigration Policy Center: http://www.caimmigrant.org/
- National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/
At Avantpage, we care deeply about immigrant rights and will work to promote equal access to necessary information in the upcoming months. If you are an immigrant yourself or are passionate about immigration issues in the U.S., we want to support you in accessing these services and information. Connect with us on social media or sign up for our newsletter to stay involved and on top of the latest immigration updates and happenings in the U.S.
You can also follow our Immigration Organizations list on Twitter that hosts the above 4 organizations and many others making contributions to immigration issues today.
Do you have any organization’s you’d like to add? Let us know by tweeting us or leaving a comment below!