YPSILANTI — The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) has launched an immigration “helpdesk” program at the Detroit Immigration Court.
The helpdesk will provide in-person legal information and assistance, as well as follow-up services remotely and in-office.
The MIRC joins a national network of nonprofit organizations funded to provide these services through the Vera Institute of Justice.
These services are critical because immigrants in deportation proceedings who cannot afford attorneys are not provided legal representation at government expense. The program enables the MIRC to help more immigrants navigate and understand the complexities of deportation proceedings.
The helpdesk program is available to all unrepresented immigrants with cases before the Detroit Immigration Court, including asylum-seeking families on a special dedicated docket. This will also help with the MIRC being overwhelmed by requests for legal assistance for these families who are facing expedited proceedings and will help identify and address due process concerns.
The MIRC’s services also include self-help workshops and pro bono referrals.
“Having in-person help for immigrants at the Detroit Immigration Court has been a long-time goal of so many in the immigrant advocacy and legal services community,” Susan E. Reed, MIRC managing attorney, said. “And it’s our honor at MIRC to be able to be even more present to families in our community who need these vital services.”
Immigrants seeking legal service services or with questions about their rights can call the MIRC at 734-239-6863.