"Without Work, What Would You Do?"

By: Diana Marin - 04/19/19

Diana Marin

I joined MIRC in January of 2019 to help support MIRC’s expanding farmworker and immigrant workers rights litigation team. MIRC’s focus on equity and belonging for immigrants in Michigan communities is work that resonates with my lived experience. I was born in Honduras and came to the States a couple of months before I turned 4. I grew up in the Bronx in the 1980s and like many first or second generation Latinx immigrants, I learned and spoke English at... more

Seeking Dignity and Opportunity in Washtenaw County

By: Sarah Schoettle - 03/14/19

Sarah Schoettle

I am a Washtenaw County-focused staff attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. I have held that position for about a year and a half.   The Washtenaw County immigration legal services grant that funds my work was born of the work of local community advocates and the County Board of Commissioners. In 2017, community advocates such as the Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (WICIR) saw the need for increased practical support for... more

Defensores de Derechos Migratorios: Caminando en Encrucijadas

By: Tania Morriz Díaz & Erika Murcia - 01/07/19

Representantes del Michigan Immigrant Rights Center encuestaron a sus colegas sobre sus propias experiences navegando raza y otras posicionalidades en medio del panorama político actual. * Originalmente publicado por Race Forward en su página web ColorLines aquí. Nosotras trabajamos en el Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) o el Centro de Derechos de Inmigrantes de Michigan, un centro de recursos legales con la misión de construir un ambiente donde... more

Increasing Access: Integrating Holistic Well-Being

By: Erika Murcia - 12/18/18

I am an intake coordinator with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center since March this year. My position is to support all our staff in the Washtenaw county office with the management of our robust intake system and with capacity building in the Detroit Metro area. This year alone, we have had an increase in detained intakes of 500% and our overall intakes have doubled. This only means that human rights of immigrants are being violated more and in various... more

Call to Action: Support Saving the Flores Settlement Agreement

By: Rebeca Ontiveros-Chavez - 11/02/18

I’m an attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC). I represent children and youth who are in deportation proceedings and metro Detroit area residents on a variety of immigration matters. Over the past year alone, MIRC has represented approximately 280 children in immigration matters as a part of the Unaccompanied Minors program. Like all the children I represent, I am an immigrant. I immigrated to the United States when I was a toddler. I... more

Fighting for Francis Anwana

By: Tania Morris Díaz - 10/02/18

I joined the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center in March of this year as part of their newest program to expand legal services to the Detroit Metro area. The past six months have been filled with challenges and lessons learned. However, the past few weeks alone have been especially challenging with the case of Francis Anwana.  Many are familiar with his story by now. Francis was born deaf in Nigeria. He was completely unable to communicate up until he was... more

My Mother is from Mexico

By: Tania Morris Díaz - 09/28/18

My mother is from Mexico. That’s the response to the inevitable question posed by anyone who gets to know me. The question comes in different packages depending on the person asking. “How did you learn Spanish?” “Where are you from?” “What are you?” “Why do you have a Mexican flag hanging from your rear-view mirror?” Growing up I would test out different answers to gauge people’s reaction. “I’m Mexican.” “I’m Mexican-American.” “I’m half Mexican.” “I’m... more

Keynote Speech for the Welcoming Michigan Statewide Convening & MCIRR Summit

By: William Lopez - 09/17/18

[Maria Ibarra-Frayre shared the poem, The Right Way, prior to this presentation] Good afternoon, and thank you for inviting me to speak at the Welcoming Michigan Statewide Convening and Michigan Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights summit. It is an honor to be invited to speak in front of a group of so many inspirational advocates, scholars, social workers, researchers, teachers, organizers, and yes, even lawyers. My name is William Lopez, and as... more

Embracing Family Unity and Resilience

By: Erika Murcia - 07/22/18

World Refugees Paint Their Journey at Stuttgart, Germany; Led by Artist, Joel Bergner. All rights reserved.

I was born in 1985 in “Mesa Grande”, a refugee camp in Honduras. I was born there because, during the Civil War in El Salvador (1980-1992), my family had to flee from the state-led Armed Forces in 1981. We repatriated to our home country of El Salvador in 1988 with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This was four years before the end of the Civil War in 1992. My experience inspired me to advocate for immigrant and... more

The Central American Child-migrant Crisis

By: Rebecca Cao - 11/19/14

children sleeping in a holding cell

Children sleep in a holding cell in Brownsville, Texas. Photo courtesy Eric Gay/AP Photo.

As many of you might already know, there has been an ongoing Central American child-migrant crisis since 2011. This crisis is at an all-time peak and more unaccompanied minors are attempting to enter the United States than ever. Most of these children are escaping gang violence in Honduras and El Salvador. Although many are fleeing to the US, others are also seeking asylum in Mexico and other nearby nations. border-apprehensions.png... more