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About us

We fight for the rights, safety, and unity of immigrant communities, standing with those trapped in our nation’s fundamentally flawed immigration system.

Our story

A lot has changed since our founding. Our mission hasn’t.

Each year, thousands of immigrants face detention and deportation alone–without the ability to afford a lawyer or the right to a public defender during their hearings. The Amica Center for Immigrant Rights was created to change that, and we have been for decades.

  • How we started

    We started as a project of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and became an independent non-profit in 1999 known as the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition. To this day, we’re the only non-profit organization in the Capital region focused on providing free legal and social services to immigrant children and adults who are detained and at risk of deportation.

  • How we’ve grown

    Since 2010, we have more than doubled in size and added two programs to complement our original work serving immigrant adults who are detained: the Children’s Program, which assists unaccompanied immigrant children in detention, and the Immigration Impact Lab, which uses impact litigation to seek to usher in systematic change.

  • Where we are now

    With support from donors, partner organizations, and our growing and passionate team of attorneys and advocates, we have expanded our reach beyond the Capital region. Now known as the Amica Center for Immigrant Rights, we’re honored to help immigrants across multiple states successfully navigate the immigration system.

Our purpose, vision, and mission

  • Purpose: Why we exist

    We engage in unwavering legal defense and strategic litigation for immigrants facing detention or deportation, regardless of background, because everyone has the right to be free, safe, and supported.

  • Vision: How we envision the world

    We envision a country with a humane and just immigration system that affords everyone
due process and direct legal representation, protects all people seeking safety, and keeps communities together.

  • Mission: What we do

    We confront the impact that the unjust immigration system has on our clients
and communities through direct legal representation, impact litigation, education, and client-centered advocacy.

Our stance on detention

No one should be jailed for their immigration status.

Learn more about our views on immigration detention, the state of immigration justice in the U.S., and what we’re doing to support those harmed by our current immigration system.

See what we believe

Our people

Meet the people who drive our mission forward every day.

With decades of experience between them, Amica Center is led by lawyers and professionals from a range of specialities and backgrounds—all with a shared passion for immigration justice.

Meet our people

Our partners

A network of support.

Get to know the people and organizations who help advance our work and connect our clients to crucial resources every day.

Meet our partners

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Hear from our team

The go-to place for an expert analysis on the latest in immigration.

Check out policy briefs, press releases, and valuable insights straight from our team. This hub is your one-stop destination to stay in the loop on the latest in the world of immigration and our stance on critical issues.

See the latest

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This is just the beginning.

Be the first to know about action alerts, volunteer opportunities, legal updates, and more in the movement to create a more humane and just immigration system.