Advocates, community allies, and pro bono partners are recognized for their efforts in fighting for the rights of immigrant children and adults in detention and at risk of deportation in the Capital region and beyond.

The awards are presented by Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition. Award recipients include:

Maryland Delegate Deni Taveras will receive the Lifetime Advocate Award for her continued commitment to uplifting immigrants’ rights—including helping to establish the Immigrant Services and Language Access (ISLA) program in Prince George’s County. She is also a leader in supporting the universal representation model.

El Refugio, a nonprofit organization in Lumpkin, Georgia, will receive the Community Advocate Award for being a reliable partner on the ground. They provide accompaniment to immigrants at the Stewart Detention Center and their loved ones through hospitality, visitation, transportation, advocacy, and more. They help ensure that immigrants and their families, including those from the DMV, can navigate the immigration system.

O’Melveny and Myers will receive the Impacting Justice Award for supporting CAIR Coalition’s impact litigation efforts to develop the first-ever national agency advocacy and litigation challenging Executive Office of Immigration Review’s (EOIR) processes—turning a vague procedural matter into a concrete advocacy campaign.

Perkins Coie will receive the Detained Adult Champion Award for its commitment to advocating for immigrant adults in detention. Since 2017, they have donated over 1,200 pro bono hours, providing compassionate and holistic representation to immigrants who are detained.

Zuckerman Spaeder will receive the Detained Children’s Champion Award for the boutique firm’s continued efforts to protect and defend immigrant children who are at risk of deportation. As a valued partner organization, Zuckerman Spaeder has gone above and beyond to support CAIR Coalition with its pro bono efforts.

“CAIR Coalition is honored to present these awards to the people and organizations who have been committed to working alongside immigrants in their fight for their rights,” said Kathryn M. Doan, Executive Director at CAIR Coalition. “As immigrants continue to encounter new and increased barriers to accessing critical legal services, and their communities experience renewed attacks, the need for community members and organizations to work together has never been more vital. We know that meaningful change is possible and are grateful to all of those who continue to advance the movement.”

Awards will be presented at CAIR Coalition’s Focused on Freedom Award Ceremony & Reception on September 13, 2023, at the Planet Word Museum. CAIR Coalition has been hosting the Awards Ceremony & Reception for over a decade and has provided over $2.5 million in unrestricted funding for free legal and social services for immigrants in detention and at risk of deportation.

Alejandra Oliva, author of the recently published memoir, Rivermouth: A Chronicle of Language, Faith, and Migration, will be the featured speaker at the fundraiser.

The Focused on Freedom Award Ceremony & Reception is generously sponsored by Accenture, Covington & Burling LLP, Alston & Bird, Arnold & Porter, Baker Botts LLP, Cooley LLP, Crowell & Moring LLP, Hogan Lovells, Morgan Lewis, Mayer Brown, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Sidley Austin LLP, Steptoe & Johnson, Williams & Connolly LLP, Wiley Rein LLP, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, and Samantha Trepel and Aaron Lemon-Strauss, along with many other charitable supporters.

Erin Barnaby, CAIR Coalition

About Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition

CAIR Coalition works alongside immigrant children and adults at risk of detention and deportation in the Capital region and beyond. We provide free direct legal representation, know-your-rights presentations, impact litigation, advocacy, and training to attorneys to defend immigrants. Our clients include arriving asylum seekers from around the world as well as long-term U.S. residents with strong family and community ties.