In the past several weeks, so many of you have asked us, "What can we do to help children fleeing violence?"
We have an answer.
MIRC has been serving unaccompanied immigrant children for many years. We believe that the greatest unmet need for children who are arriving now in Michigan is legal representation. That's because children who are released to sponsors (who are often family or friends from the child's home country) are still being prosecuted for deportation from the U.S. but are not provided with attorneys in Immigration Court. Children with attorneys are much more likely to win their cases in Immigration Court but few sponsors can afford legal assistance.
We sought a Justice AmeriCorps grant specifically focused on providing legal services to children who have been released to sponsors in Michigan and we were selected. However, that funding only covers part of the total project cost. MIRC needs to raise $75,000 of additional funding by December 1 and in each of the next two years to make the program possible.Will you help us help children fleeing violence?
The good news about this program is that it isn't a "drop in the bucket." If we meet our goal, we will be able to hire two AmeriCorps member attorneys to serve children. One attorney will be based in West Michigan and another in Southeast Michigan. Together with our pro bono partners, we believe that we can meet most of the need with this program.
Please consider joining us today by sending a donation to MIRC at 3030 S. 9th St. Suite 1B, Kalamazoo, MI 49009, or online by clicking here. Your donation is tax deductible. Michigan attorneys can contribute through the Michigan State Bar Foundation's Access to Justice campaign: click here to contribute to MIRC's "Operations" fund, or fax the pledge form to (517) 371-3325.
Thank you for your consideration and for the many ways that you support our work. Please let me know if you have questions about our program and consider sharing information about our program with those in your communities who have expressed a desire to help children fleeing violence.
Susan E. Reed
Michigan Immigrant Rights Center