Creating a Statewide Legal Defense Fund will help keep Colorado families together by providing a lawyer for people facing detention or deportation who couldn’t otherwise afford one.
Immigration detention is the only legal procedure in the nation where someone can be detained without the right to a government-funded lawyer. As a result, many people in deportation proceedings have valid legal claims to remain in the United States, but are deported anyway because they lack the legal expertise to effectively argue their cases. Legal defense is also critical to addressing Anti-Black racism in immigration court and the detention to deportation pipeline, since Black immigrants are over four times as likely as non-Black immigrants to face detention or deportation on criminal grounds.
70% of immigrants detained at the GEO immigration detention center in Aurora, CO do not have a lawyer
Immigrants with legal representation are 3.5 times more likely to be released from detention on bond
Immigrants with legal representation are 10 times more likely to win their cases
Universal representation in immigration court should be a national mandate. As we continue to push for equity, individual cities and states across the nation have risen to stand up for the immigrants in their communities.
Five states have already created statewide immigration legal defense funds: Oregon, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and California
In 2017, in the wake of a growing wave of national anti-immigrant sentiment and policies, advocates and leaders in the Denver metro area worked to create the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund (DILSF) to provide free, quality legal services for Denver residents in immigration proceedings through local non-profits. With the Denver program, Colorado has taken a step towards leading the national movement for a “public defender” system for immigrants.
Now, our Campaign for Universal Representation is taking the next step by championing a bill to create a Colorado statewide legal defense fund! This bill will create a fund similar to the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund (DILSF). Through the statewide fund, Coloradans with a deportation case would qualify to receive a free lawyer if they cannot afford one. As the fund grows, more and more Colorado immigrants will be able to face detention and deportation with crucial access to legal representation.
Our Hearts are Heavy: A Call for Ceasefire in Palestine
November 1, 2023Press Release
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) stands, with heavy hearts, mourning the Israeli and Palestinian lives lost. We condemn the loss of life and attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians; […]
CIRC Reacts to the Tragic Boulder County Fires
January 4, 2022In the News
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) issued the following statement in response to the tragic Boulder County fires: “We mourn with the victims of this tragedy, and our coalition is […]
CIRC Reacts to the Devastating Denver Area Shooting
January 4, 2022In the News
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) issued the following statement in response to the devastating Denver Area shooting: It is with a heavy heart that we send our condolences to […]
Charity of Creator of “Hamilton” Makes Generous Donation to Support Immigrant Rights in Colorado
July 21, 2021Press Release
Denver, CO – This month, Lin Manuel Miranda, star and creator of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, announced a series of donations to organizations that serve immigrants, including CIRC. “I was pretty surprised,” […]
Statement: CIRC Reacts to the Tay Anderson Allegations
July 7, 2021Press Release
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) was deeply concerned to learn about the allegations made against Denver Public Schools Board Director Tay Anderson. As an organization, CIRC is dedicated to […]