This week's featured organization is the National Immigrant Justice Center. The NIJC works to ensure human rights protections and access to justice for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
In the wake of late January's executive orders banning entry to the United States of refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, the NIJC has been working on multiple fronts: providing refugees and immigrants with access to counsel and training hundreds of lawyers in the specifics of representing asylum seekers.
And then last week, the ICE began a series of raids across the country that have left immigrant communities shaken and in fear. Those raids have targeted scores of people, including those without criminal records. Across the nation, there have been reports of ICE agents setting up checkpoints, waiting outside schools to target parents coming to pick up their children, even stationing themselves outside of churches in Hispanic neighborhoods on Sunday morning.
The NIJC has been reaching out to those communities to spread information about how immigrants can keep themselves safe and what their legal rights are.
The NIJC keeps a full calendar of training events, for lawyers looking to learn more about immigration law, for immigrants who want to learn more about their rights, and for members of the community who just want to learn how to help immigrants and asylum seekers.
These events are usually held at the NIJC offices in Chicago, Indiana, and D.C., but they do also provide webinars that can be viewed from anywhere, and a lot of their material is also available on their YouTube channel
There may be very little that any one of us can do as an individual to help refugees and immigrants in the current political climate. Attending protests and vigils is a great way to show your support. And if you can, give some support to the many agencies providing direct legal help to these vulnerable communities.
The National Immigrant Justice Center is going to need our help more than ever. To find out how you can get involved, visit them at: http://www.immigrantjustice.org
You can also keep up with their latest actions on social media:
And if you're interested in finding other organizations providing legal help to immigrant and refugee communities, visit these pages on ProgressiveGiving.com: