The Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) works to ensure justice for adults in immigration detention and for immigrant children who have suffered from abuse, neglect, or violence.
RMIAN is a nonprofit organization that serves low-income adults and children in immigration proceedings. RMIAN promotes knowledge of legal rights, provides effective representation to ensure due process, works to improve detention conditions, and promotes a more humane immigration system, including alternatives to detention.
We believe that justice for immigrants means justice for all. We respect the needs and celebrate the contributions of the individuals and communities that we serve. We believe our clients are equal partners in accessing justice. We value respect for all human beings, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or legal status. We believe in valuing and respecting the contributions of our board, staff, and volunteers. We believe in a working environment that fosters personal and professional growth and strives for excellence.
RMIAN officially became a nonprofit organization in 2000, although its founding dates back to the early 1990s when a group of volunteer immigration attorneys banded together in the face of grave injustices they witnessed at the immigration detention center in Aurora, Colorado. These attorneys encountered adults in detention, including long-time lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, and others, forced to confront a hostile immigration court without the benefit of legal counsel and without the due process recognized as a cornerstone of our country’s justice system. As a result, this group came together on an ad hoc basis to try to provide free attorneys for the most meritorious cases. However, recognizing the limitations of operating without staff members, the group formed a Colorado nonprofit corporation with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in 2000. Since 2003, RMIAN has had a daily presence at the immigration detention center in Aurora, Colorado, conducting “know-your-rights” presentations, individual intakes, and self-help workshops to detained individuals who otherwise would never have an opportunity to talk with an attorney interested in protecting their legal rights and best interests.
While working in the detention context, children in immigration legal proceedings throughout Colorado began calling RMIAN’s office for help. Fleeing persecution in their home countries or horrific domestic violence in their own homes, they were eligible for protection under immigration law but unsure how to access it. Seeing another vastly unmet need, RMIAN launched its Children’s Program in 2005 to provide free legal services to immigrant children and to disseminate information regarding immigration issues to professionals working with children in Colorado. The Children’s Program has become a tremendous resource to undocumented youth, their families, and the numerous service providers throughout Colorado who serve them.