The Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center provides free and low-cost legal services to those who need them most in the Detroit area, with a focus on recent immigrants and asylum seekers.
We have three core mission priorities:
- Provide low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees seeking to make a home in the city of Detroit;
- Offer low-cost housing to immigrants and refugees who have difficulty finding long-term residences in the city of Detroit; and
- Assist businesses owned by Detroit residents from vulnerable communities in obtaining business resources, professional support, and/or immigration status.
We implement these through the provision of free legal services in our clinics and online consultations and in low-cost legal representation of clients in regional courts.
SWIRC was founded in 2014 when a long-standing immigration clinic in Southwest Detroit closed down. Kevin Piecuch, our founder and executive director, was volunteering there at the time. People continued to come to the clinic seeking help and Kevin continued showing up to help them. This was the first of our free legal clinics. Since that time our reputation has grown and we have opened additional clinics, in Pontiac and on Detroit’s Eastside. We now have an extended team of more than 100 volunteers who help out.
Our clients have a hard time finding help anywhere else. Private attorneys commonly charge fees that are far out of reach for this community. Most other legal clinics help with limited issues or cannot provide benefits to undocumented people. We are the only legal clinic in Southeast Michigan that welcomes all, regardless of their legal issue or residency status, and works on all legal issues our clients bring us.
The Ford Fund at the Mexicantown Mercado and the Fisher Upper Magnet Academy
The Oakland County Bar Foundation