Around 90 percent of those detained at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Aurora, Colorado, don’t have a lawyer. Denver is trying to improve that statistic. The city officially opened a fund in November for people who can’t afford legal representation in their immigration cases. RMIAN will receive funding and hire two full-time attorneys through this initiative.
The SAFE Network is a diverse group of local jurisdictions dedicated to providing publicly funded representation for people facing deportation. This short video describes the need for and impact of SAFE from the perspective of network members and those directly impacted—local government leaders, attorneys, and clients.
Calvin Lee, lawyer, artist, and RMIAN volunteer attorney, recently went to the Greek island of Lesvos to help refugees landing at night on rafts. On Friday, December 7, Calvin will be showing refugee art in watercolor and oil inspired by his experience. Join Calvin and RMIAN staff members for wine, appetizers, and art this Friday in Denver.
At a time when harsh immigration policies are disrupting our community, separating children and parents, and increasing detention and deportation, the City and County of Denver celebrates the successes of the first year of work with the Vera Institute of Justice’s Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network. The SAFE Network is a diverse group of a dozen cities and counties across America dedicated to providing publicly-funded universal representation for people facing deportation and to build evidence for its effectiveness.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, The Denver Foundation and the Vera Institute announced the first $377,000 in grants from the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund. The grants will support RMIAN and other local grantees in providing access to legal representation for qualified individuals in immigration detention and facing deportation and those seeking assistance in such areas as citizenship and asylum-seeking or renewals for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
RMIAN seeks volunteer interpreters to provide critical language skills to clients in need. RMIAN pairs volunteer interpreters of all languages, though mainly Spanish, with volunteer attorneys to allow for attorney-client communication. RMIAN will hold a Volunteer Orientation on Monday, October 15, in Denver. Information here.
RMIAN’s Ashley Harrington will be presenting at two upcoming events. Details below.
Colorado Bar Association/Denver Bar Association lunch training on Friday, September 21. Intersections Between Family Law and Immigration Law: Special Juvenile Status (SIJS) Training
The Office of the Child’s Representative Fall Conference on Monday, September 24: Beyond the GRID: Integrating Law & Social Science to Improve Outcome for Children, Youth & Families
Save the Date! The Rocky Mountain Conference on Immigration & Naturalization Litigation will be held on Friday, October 12, in Denver. This year’s conference features expert advocates and academics from across the country providing cutting edge advice on litigation. Register here.
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law will hold an event in its Crimmigration Law & Policy Series on Monday, September 17, in Denver. The event is free and open to the public and runs from 12:00-1:00pm. More information can be found here.
RMIAN’s Executive Director, Mekela Goehring, will participate in a panel discussion following four short films about immigration detention at the Sie FilmCenter on the evening of Tuesday, September 11. The event is part of a Social Change Through Film initiative coordinated by GoodCinema. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.
Local activists organized an event on Sunday, August 12, entitled Act Global, Stay Local that helped to raise $3,000 for RMIAN and the clients it serves. The event was held at Improper City in Denver and featured food, drinks, games, live music, and a silent auction. Thanks to the venue and organizers for the support and for executing such a great event. See event photos here.
RMIAN, along with the Immigration Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association, will host a full-day CLE in Denver on Wednesday, September 26. The training will provide attendees with the keys to zealous immigration advocacy and dive into immigration enforcement, detention and bond practices, protections for immigrant crime victims, asylum law, special immigrant juvenile status, and working with experts to build your case. Information here.
On the first Friday of every month, Open Media Foundation holds a free community event, Open Music Sessions (OMS), at the Denver Open Media studios (near the Santa Fe Art Walk) that spotlights local performance groups, comedians, musical acts, and nonprofit organizations. On August 10th, RMIAN’s Jessica Burnett spoke about RMIAN’s work at OMS. Thanks to The Denver Foundation and the Open Media Foundation for the opportunity to highlight RMIAN and its work in the community.
RMIAN is honored to be named a recipient of a Spring Intercultural Champion Award, presented by the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning. The annual award ceremony celebrates the rich cultural, social, and economic contributions that immigrants and refugees bring to Colorado. The award ceremony serves as a fundraising event for the Spring Institute and is open to the public. The event will be held on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, in Denver. Register to attend here.
RMIAN’s Laura Lunn discusses navigating her clients and other parents being moved to Texas over the weekend. “It’s treating them like they’re not human, and shipping them around the country from place to place is disorienting especially once they have set roots here, where we have been able to connect them with so many people that are willing to help.”
Photo: Sarah Jackson