Citizenship ceremony holding up flags

How Can We Empower Immigrants When the Odds Are Stacked Against Them?

#157 Talks With… Americans for Immigrant Justice

The USA is seen as a beacon of hope by many communities throughout the world. For some who brave the journey there, it’s an opportunity to escape oppression and start a new life. In this episode we talked with Jessica Schneider from Americans for Immigrant Justice about representing immigrants who have been let down by the US justice system and giving them hope for the future.

Innocent People Treated Inhumanely

Shockingly, many immigrants who flee to the USA for shelter face draconian treatment when they get there. The profits-driven immigration system can house them in poorly-equipped detention centers for months while they await trial. AI Justice champions immigrant rights across a number of programs, representing asylum seekers, unaccompanied children and families. By educating immigrants about their rights and helping them put forward their case in court, AI Justice stands for the values of tolerance and opportunity upon which the USA was founded.

Jessica explains that US immigration laws are classified as civil, not criminal law. This means that immigrants who are arrested for not having the correct papers have no right to a public attorney. AI Justice offers free legal help so that as many immigrants as possible don’t face the country’s daunting justice system alone.

Listen to the whole interview to find how the change in government has afforded immigrants hope for the future. You can also find out more about the programs AI Justice runs, apply to become a virtual volunteer or donate.

Click here to watch Spirit Rosenberg from interview AI Justice as part of their ‘ Talks With…’ podcast.