Immigration Justice Campaign and Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network Announce New Partnership

Immigration Justice Campaign and Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network Announce New Partnership

January 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the Immigration Justice Campaign (Justice Campaign), a joint initiative between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (Council), and the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN), located in Westminster, Colorado, announce their partnership to increase pro bono representation for individuals in immigration detention in Colorado. The mission of the Immigration Justice Campaign is to fight for due process and justice for detained noncitizens by fortifying the army of lawyers across the country who are ready and able to vigorously defend their rights in court.

The Justice Campaign’s partnership with RMIAN will seek to increase and enhance legal representation for detained immigrants at the Aurora Detention Center. RMIAN provides free immigration legal services to immigrant children as well as adults in immigration detention. In partnership with the Justice Campaign, RMIAN will identify cases and help staff master calendar hearings, bond hearings, and individual hearings for unrepresented detainees, many of whom are not aware of their rights and face language barriers. The Justice Campaign partnership will then link up volunteer attorneys with vulnerable clients. Throughout each lawyers’ pro bono experience, they will be provided with extensive training, tools, and mentorship.

Mekela Goehring, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Immigration Advocacy Network (RMIAN), said, “The Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) is proud to partner with the Immigration Justice Campaign to fight for greater access to justice for individuals in civil immigration detention in Colorado.  Every day, RMIAN provides essential immigration legal services to immigrants in civil immigration detention in Colorado, as well as to children throughout the state. For over twenty years, RMIAN has worked to recruit and train volunteer attorneys to represent those in immigration detention, and sees first-hand how powerfully pro bono attorneys can level the playing field. We are thrilled to be joining forces with AILA and the Council to ensure that our country's values of due process and fundamental fairness are protected.”

Karen Lucas, Director of the Immigration Justice Campaign, said, “This powerful partnership will make a difference for detained immigrants in Colorado and beyond. The Justice Campaign will work tirelessly with RMIAN to bring fearless lawyering and due process to unrepresented noncitizens of the Rocky Mountain region. Our core focus is to prepare a diverse group of lawyers across the nation to be cutting-edge defenders of immigrants facing deportation. RMIAN has been providing vital resources to individuals in detention for over two decades. AILA and the American Immigration Council are honored to work alongside this renowned organization to change, and save, the lives of immigrants.” 

Brad Hendrick, AILA Colorado Chapter Chair, said, “The work that the Immigration Justice Campaign and RMIAN are doing to promote due process in immigration court and represent detained immigrants at the Aurora Detention Center is of vital importance. Only 14% of detained immigrants have representation, and ICE is rapidly increasing its detention capacity, contracting for bed space in new places in an effort to increase detention levels to a staggering 44,000 immigrants a day, as the House Appropriations Committee bill would mandate. The need for pro bono work is greater than ever, and AILA, the American Immigration Council, and RMIAN are uniquely positioned to tend to this need in Colorado and beyond. We need all hands on deck for a problem of this magnitude. The AILA Colorado Chapter is thrilled to support this partnership and the hope it will bring to countless immigrants.”

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The Immigration Justice Campaign is a joint initiative of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council. Its mission is to fight for due process and justice for detained noncitizens by fortifying the army of lawyers across the country who are ready and able to vigorously defend their rights in court. 

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