by Adam Delezenne
We help a lot of people, and though we care deeply about creating welcoming communities for recent immigrants, refugees, and asylees, we serve almost everyone that comes to us for legal help. Anyone can receive help at our walk-in legal clinics regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender presentation, residency status, their nation of origin or any other personal characteristics. We don’t ask for proof of income, and we will talk with clients about any legal issue. We are the only true no-barrier legal clinic in the Detroit area.
We work with all people
We are committed to providing legal services for underserved communities in the Detroit area regardless of their nation of origin. For us, this means that we have located our clinics in communities that do not have easy access to quality legal services. Our Eastside clinic is located in the poorest Detroit zip code according to household income. The Southwest and Pontiac clinics are located in communities that are underserved by traditional legal services and yet have significant legal needs. These needs do often include navigating the immigration system, but they also go far beyond it into family, housing, probate, employment and traffic issues.
We work on all legal issues
Granted, “Immigrant and Refugee” is in our name and serving this group is part of why we were founded. In 2014, our executive director, while volunteering at another legal clinic recognized the shortcoming of limiting who we work with and what kind of legal issues we accept. An immigration only clinic can help people with forms for a family visa but can’t help someone fight for custody of their children or deal with unfair traffic fines.
Legal issues often overlap and intersect particularly for people working through the immigration system. People with less than permanent legal status tend to try to fly under the radar. They are less likely to approach law enforcement or go to government institutions when they need help. Consequently, people in the immigration system tend to have other legal issues as well. We don’t turn anyone away because they bring the wrong kind of legal issue.
Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center was founded to provide legal services that the people who need it the most can afford. We accept all people and all legal issues. And clients are never asked to pay for services provided at our clinics.
If you think you might need legal help, please come see us at one of our clinic locations.
The Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved communities in the Detroit area, with a focus on recent immigrants and refugees.
We were founded in 2014 by Kevin Piecuch, our Executive Director and principal attorney, to help meet the great need for quality legal services in underserved Detroit communities. We believe that everyone deserves justice regardless of your country of origin, the color of your skin, or your ability to afford an attorney.