- LAW 929 Student
After considering many great family-serving organizations, our class picked the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center (IRLC) because it provides pro bono legal services to low income immigrants and refugee families in the Northern Kentucky area to help them understand and exercise their rights. As law students, it was important to us to consider organizations that provide legal services and IRLC serves immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees, including unaccompanied minors and immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic violence. We focused on the organization's mission of ensuring access to justice for immigrants and refugees, as there are not many organizations serving these communities in the area.
Because IRLC is a relatively new and small organization that uses volunteers, we thought the donation would be important and well used. We were impressed by how much work IRLC has gotten done since it began serving clients, and we thought the holistic model using direct representation along with family rights education and referrals was a good one. - LAW 929 Student
Remarks from Michelle McGehee, Immigrant and Refugee Law Center:
Thank you so very much for this tremendous honor!
The Immigrant and Refugee Law Center (IRLC) provides critical pro bono legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees in Greater Cincinnati to stabilize families and secure children's futures. Our clients are asylum seekers, refugees, and unaccompanied minors, as well as survivors of local crimes. IRLC is a one-of-a-kind organization in that it is co-located within community learning centers in Cincinnati Public Schools. Since opening 3 years ago we have served over 700 families and impacted hundreds of children from more than 40 schools across the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area.
Increasingly we see a need to protect children that were brought to this country and subsequently trafficked, neglected, abused, or abandoned once here. Many children and/or their advocates are afraid to come forward because of fear of deportation, not knowing that these exploited children actually have immigration options open to them. Funds from the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project will support our work with agencies in Northern Kentucky including the Cabinet, social workers, attorneys/guardians ad litem, and foster parents, to combat the exploitation of immigrant children and pursue legal pathways for them.