As I reflect on all we accomplished this year, I’m so grateful for our supporters, legal volunteers, and the clients for whom we have the privilege of advocating. Together with all of you, the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) continues our mission to establish and defend the legal rights of all immigrants regardless of background and transform the immigration system to one that affords equal opportunity for all.
In honor of Human Rights Day on December 10th, we are celebrating the life-changing impact our work has had for more than 9,000 people this past year and we are celebrating our supporters and partners, without whom none of this would be possible.
Watch this special message from me, NIJC National Director of Legal Services Lisa Koop, highlighting the amazing things we accomplished together:
In 2022, we served 2,700 people seeking asylum and 94% of clients won asylum protection. We helped free 66 people from detention so they could reunite with their families and communities.
More than 2,000 pro bono attorneys volunteered more than 50,500 hours serving immigrants and refugees from 94 countries who are building lives in the United States.
NIJC won landmark lawsuits to defend the rights of immigrant children by ending their unlawful detention on their 18th birthdays and to limit ICE’s ability to detain immigrants in mass raids and traffic stops. We expanded access to counsel for people in detention through a new universal representation pilot project and protected the right to asylum through continued litigation and advocacy.
This year, we encountered unexpected challenges. When migrants were bused to Chicago from the border, we welcomed and provided legal orientations to more than 2,500 people. When Afghans fled a humanitarian crisis at home, we helped more than 180 Afghan evacuees file for asylum. With the asylum system still under attack, we rapidly responded to protect due process for people seeking safety.
We expect 2023 will bring more challenges and we are ready to tackle them with you. Here’s to another year of protecting human rights!
Lisa Koop is the national director of legal services at NIJC
If you want to make a difference, join us in defending human rights by donating: