Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition logo

Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition

Your gift makes sure immigrant children and adults have the legal and social services they need to feel safe, free, and supported.

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CAIR Coalition's Detained Adult Program (DAP) works with hundreds of adults who are detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the Capital region. DAP provides information, legal support, and representation through trauma-sensitive, client-centered service and manages three sub-programs: the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), the Universal Representation Program (URep), and the National Qualified Representative Program (NQRP).

CAIR Coalition's Detained Children's Program provides legal services to unaccompanied children detained by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in Virginia and Maryland, as well as those who are released locally to a sponsor in Virginia, Maryland, and DC. Clients range in age from toddlers to teens, and include pregnant and parenting minors. The program's services include Know Your Rights presentations, individual consultations, accompanying children to immigration court hearings and free representation, either in-house or with local law firms. Since January 2021, the number of unaccompanied children seeking humanitarian protection has been on the rise.

When children arrive at the southern border, they are first placed in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is responsible for transferring the children to ORR custody within 72 hours. CAIR Coalition is the primary provider of legal assistance to detained children in DC, Maryland and northern Virginia who are held in local ORR facilities. CAIR Coalition continues to see a steady and significant increase in the number of children who are being transferred to the facilities in our region, with a detained population of approximately 150 children on any given week. The Children's Program also pioneered new forms of advocacy for children in secure detention, successfully facilitating the 'step-down' of multiple children to less restrictive placements..

The CAIR Coalition Immigration Impact Lab (Lab) brings impact litigation within the Fourth Circuit to challenge barriers to the asylum, due process, and liberty rights of our immigrant neighbors who are at risk of detention and deportation. The Lab also works closely with major law firms, law school clinics, and local immigration and criminal bars to coordinate litigation on cutting-edge issues.

Our impact litigation priorities focus on challenging barriers to asylum, minimizing the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, and protecting due process rights for detained children and adults. The primary litigation tools we use are appeals of individual cases to the Fourth Circuit and Board of Immigration Appeals, individual lawsuits, and habeas petitions to challenge prolonged and unlawful detention of adults and children.

CAIR Coalition's Social Services Program endeavors to provide a holistic model of service that addresses our clients' legal, as well as social services needs. From addressing immediate needs-such as housing, food, and clothing, and referrals to medical, mental health, and educational support services-to creating detailed post release plans with wraparound support, our goal is to help ensure that they have the best possible chance of achieving their legal goals and succeeding in their new homes.

The program is also responsible for leading the coordination of independent psychological evaluations. These evaluations can often provide context around mental health diagnoses, which help to identify targeted post release referrals to mental health services providers. The coordination process requires collaboration among legal staff, detention facilities, and our social services team. Mental health evaluations can shed light on any relevant psychiatric history, enabling us to provide our clients with appropriate social and legal services. Our program liaises between the legal team and independent mental health professionals by recruiting and retaining a pool of practitioners who are trained to diagnose, provide clinical and forensic evaluations, provide referrals for further treatment, and serve as expert witnesses in immigration cases, as needed.

Washington, DC
Mid-sized organization
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, EIN 52-2141497