The Children’s Project
MIA’s Children’s Project provides free direct legal representation to Mid-South children facing deportation. Children’s Project clients have recently fled to the United States from Central America to escape violence and extreme poverty. MIA defends these children against deportation while helping them obtain lawful permanent residency in the United States. The Children’s Project protects children from harm while keeping families together.
Since February 2016, MIA has administered the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians at the Memphis Immigration Court. Through LOPC, MIA provides legal orientation presentations to the family members or “sponsors” of unaccompanied minors to assist them in navigating the immigration court process. For more information about our LOPC presentations, please contact our LOPC Coordinator, Ivonne Cornejo.
In May 2018, federal funding for children’s deportation defense attorneys was cut nationwide. Therefore, we are no longer funded to provide free legal services to new clients. As of 2019, we continue representing over 100 children through this program.
In April 2019, MIA began providing legal screenings and know your rights presentations to unaccompanied minors in transitional foster care in Nashville, TN. MIA also began providing limited representation services to unaccompnaied minors living at the residential treatment centers in Arkansas.
The Survivors’ Project
MIA provides free legal services to a significant number of victims of violent crime, particularly domestic violence and sexual assault. These clients include asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries and immigrants who have been targeted for violent crime here in the U.S. Although we represent asylum seekers from all over the world, the majority are Central American women fleeing epidemic levels of femicide and gender-based violence. U.S. law also provides pathways to lawful status for immigrants who have been victims of certain violent crimes in the U.S., such as domestic violence, rape, felony assault, and human trafficking.
MIA accepts referrals for Memphis-area victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, and similar crimes through our partner organization CasaLuz. Please contact CasaLuz for further assistance, as we cannot accept clients under this program who contact us directly.
Family Unity Project
MIA’s Family Unity Project promotes the economic security and wellbeing of our community by providing low-cost immigration services to low-income families. People who are not eligible for free services through our Children’s or Survivors’ Projects may pay an income-based, sliding-scale fee through our Family Unity Project.
Currently, the Family Unity Project only has the capacity to provide representation to immediate family members of existing clients.
MIA administers the Legal Orientation Program for Expedited Removal (LOPE) for detained immigrants at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility.
LOPE educates asylum seekers on the process for requesting asylum while in detention, including information about the credible fear interview, obtaining release, and judicial hearings and review. MIA is seeking resources to provide more comprehensive support to detained asylum seekers in the Mid-South.
MIA is also a member of the MEMigration Coalition, a group of Memphis-based non-profit immigration programs established to increase our collective capacity to meet the overwhelming need for immigration services in our area. Our MEMigration partners include Advocates for Immigrant Rights, Latino Memphis’ Derechos Immigration Program, World Relief Memphis, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee’s Immigrant Services, and Community Legal Center’s Immigrant Justice Program.
The information contained on this site is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. You should not act, or refrain from acting, in any manner based on the information contained on this website without seeking professional legal counsel. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of this information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.