We’re excited to announce that HB-1194, the bill to create a Statewide Immigration Legal Defense Fund, has passed into law! In the coming years, we hope to grow this fund until it is large enough to provide a lawyer to anyone in the state facing deportation proceedings and unable to afford one of their own.
The Campaign for Universal Representation aims to create a Statewide Legal Defense Fund that 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
We are proud to announce that our bill HB-1194 to create a statewide Immigration Legal Defense Fund has passed the state House and Senate and will become law as soon as it is signed by Governor Polis!
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.
This year, our Campaign for Universal Representation took 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.
Tell our state representatives: vote for HB1194!
May 10, 2021What's New at CIRC
We’re excited to announce that our bill HB-1194 passed the House and Senate! This action is no longer live and is preserved for site history purposes. HB1194, our bill to create a statewide Immigration Legal Defense Fund, will hit the house floor for a vote this week! Now, it is crucial for our State Representatives […]
Pledge your support for Universal Representation for All
March 3, 2021What's New at CIRC
The Campaign for Universal Representation For All aims to address one of the most urgent issues of access to justice in our state and nation today. In Colorado, ICE has detained thousands of immigrants and held them in detention centers, forcing many to face immigration court and detention without a lawyer. This injustice leads to […]
Colorado state representatives seeking immigration legal defense fund
February 8, 2021In the News
9News.com COLORADO, USA — In immigration court, having legal representation can mean the difference between staying in the United States or being deported. A 2015 study from the University of Pennsylvania showed that immigrants with a lawyer present were 10 times more likely to win their cases. “When you think about this, you have an […]
CIRC Statement: Supreme Court Sides with DACA Recipients, Providing Relief for Immigrant Youth and Their Families
June 18, 2020Press Release
Today, the Supreme Court announced a 5-4 ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program cases, ruling that Trump’s decision to rescind the DACA program was arbitrary and capricious.
Support our Statewide Immigrant Legal Defense Fund
Donations made to this fund will contribute to the Statewide Immigrant Legal Defense Fund. This will be a public/private fund similar to the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund (DILSF). The administering agent will review grant applications and choose grantees. Through this statewide fund, any Coloradan with a deportation case would qualify to receive a free lawyer if they cannot afford one if sufficient funds are available.
This statewide fund will advance a universal model for representation that replicates a public defender model for immigration court. This means that no one would be turned away based on their likeliness to win their case. Everyone means everyone. If passed, Colorado would join other states like Oregon, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and California in standing up for due-process and dignity for all.
60 Resources for Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Communities
July 9, 2019
When working with immigrant and refugee Communities, check out these resources which include toolkits, informational pages and guides for the areas of Education, Employment, Health, Housing and Resettlement, Legal, and Safety.
What are No-Match Letters from the Social Security Administration?
April 25, 2019
Download the No-Match Letter Toolkit for Employers and Workers from our Partners at the National Immigrant Law Center (NILC).
Living in Limbo: A Guide to Understanding Your Rights, Benefits, and Obligations When you Have No Immigration Status
July 30, 2018
Our latest guide, Living in Limbo, produced in collaboration with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, United We Dream, Immigrants Rising (formerly known as E4FC), and UndocuMedia will help you understand your rights, benefits, and obligations if you have no immigration status in the United States.
Beware of Notarios, Frauds, and Scams | Cuidado con Notarios, Fraudes y Estafas
September 29, 2017
Do you plan on seeking legal help for your immigration case? It's important to be careful about what kind of legal help you get, remember, the wrong legal help can hurt! Make sure you don’t get scammed by rumors, notarios and fraud.