Social Service Project

Founded in 2010, RMIAN’s Social Service Project (SSP) provides wrap-around support to particularly vulnerable immigrant adults in deportation proceedings, including people with behavioral health challenges, physical or mental disabilities, or other realities that make being detained especially difficult. SSP clients include both pro se respondents and ones represented by RMIAN staff and volunteer attorneys. Staffed by two social workers and a graduate student social work intern, the SSP uses a client-centered approach that fosters self-determination and self-sufficiency.

SSP services include:

  • Supporting clients’ well-being while in detention (completing psychosocial assessments, helping clients to cope with the stress of detention and advocate for their needs, educating clients and their family members about behavioral health issues)
  • Assisting the development of clients’ legal cases (helping obtain letters of support and certain records, assisting clients to write declarations and prepare for testimony in ways that reduce retraumatization, arranging pro bono forensic psychological and physical evaluations)
  • Helping clients make plans for life after release from detention—or removal from the U.S. (drafting post-release plans for rehabilitative and other services, making referrals to needed resources)
Yo estaba desesperado pero ustedes me han reanimado

I was feeling desperate but you have given me new hope

— A formerly detained man who worked with RMIAN’s Social Service Project and a volunteer attorney