WASHINGTON, DC—After 25 years of defending immigrants, Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition is changing its name to reaffirm the organization’s commitment to its clients and community and to reflect its expanded geographic footprint. As of June 10th, CAIR Coalition will officially become Amica Center for Immigrant Rights, or “Amica Center.”

“‘Amica’ is the Latin word for ‘friend,’” said Kathy Doan, Chief Executive Officer at CAIR Coalition. “And that is how we approach our work every day. Just as friends stand with one another, we stand with our clients to fight for the safety, dignity, stability, and opportunity everyone deserves.”

“The renaming initiative was a collaborative process that began last spring, and engaged staff, external stakeholders, volunteers, and pro bono partners. We are proud of the outcome and excited to reintroduce ourselves to the world,” said Michael Lukens, Executive Director at CAIR Coalition. “While our name and look have changed, we will continue to 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.”

Over the past two decades, CAIR Coalition has reached well over 50,000 people. Since its founding in 1999, CAIR Coalition has grown from a staff of nine to over 115.  Its annual budget has increased from $1 million in 2014 to more than $12 million in 2024.

In addition to representing immigrant adults, CAIR Coalition created two new programs. The Children’s Team was launched in 2010 to work with unaccompanied minors, and the Immigration Impact Lab was created in 2017 to strengthen the law through impact litigation.

CAIR Coalition has also expanded its geographic footprint from representing people solely in the Capital Region to working with clients from the DMV as they are detained in many places along the East Coast and litigating in immigration and federal district courts in numerous other parts of the country.

Highlights from CAIR Coalition’s groundbreaking work include:

  • 2017: Launched partnerships to provide free direct legal representation to immigrants who are detained and at risk of deportation, live in Baltimore City or Prince George’s County, and are held in immigration detention facilities across the country.
  • 2019: Secured funding to provide free direct legal representation to immigrants who are detained and at risk of deportation, live in DC, and are held in immigration detention facilities across the country.
  • 2019: The U.S. District Court for DC ruled in favor of CAIR Coalition and its partner organization in CAIR Coalition v. Trump.
  • 2022: Established partnership to provide free direct legal representation to Maryland residents who are detained and at risk of deportation and are held in immigration detention facilities across the country.
  • 2024: CAIR Coalition achieved class certification for individuals whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement continue to detain after winning their cases in Virginia immigration courts. This is the first decision certifying a class of non-citizens in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Garland v. Aleman Gonzalez.

On September 26th, Amica Center is celebrating “25 Years of Defending One Another” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Tickets for this anniversary bash, along with sponsorship opportunities, will be available beginning on June 10th.

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