"Know Your Org" is an informational series designed to spotlight some of the wonderful organizations in our community. This month we are highlighting the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.
The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) is a legal resource center for Michigan's immigrant communities and immigration advocates. They provide direct legal services, advocacy, and community education through their three offices in Ypsilanti, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. MIRC works to build a thriving Michigan where immigrant communities experience equity and belonging.
Canton has a wonderfully diverse community that includes many immigrants. According to recent census data, nearly one in five Canton residents is foreign born. Residents of Canton or any other Michigan community can contact MIRC to seek legal help or citizenship guidance.
MIRC’s services for immigrants and refugees begin with an intake assessment to understand the individual needs of the person and their situation. All of MIRC’s services are free to clients, but resources are limited. If MIRC is not able to take on the person's case, they try to share legal information and referrals to other organizations in their network. MIRC also maintains an Immigrant Service Provider Reference Guide that is freely available on their website.
MIRC is funded by federal, state, and local grants as well as foundations, local non-profit agencies and donations from corporations and individuals. They have a staff of dedicated employees but also rely on many volunteers to achieve their mission.
How can you help? In terms of volunteers, the greatest need is for attorneys to offer pro bono representation. If you are fluent in a language other than English, you may be needed as an on-call interpreter. On occasion they use volunteers for special projects needing office or administrative support. Visit their website for more information about volunteer opportunities.