inland region initiative
Mickey Donovan - Current Directing Attorney at ImmDef holding a megaphone while protesting at the Families Belong Together Rally.
ImmDef opened its Riverside Office in 2017 in recognition that the region lacked sufficient access to high quality, pro bono removal defense compared to other metro regions of Southern California. At the time of its opening, ImmDef’s Riverside office was one of very few organizations providing pro bono removal defense in two of California’s four largest counties. ImmDef provides removal defense to unaccompanied minors and families who reside in the Inland Region and are separated by the current administration’s policies. Additionally, our Riverside office collaborates with local partners to increase access to counsel in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Shortly after opening ImmDef’s Riverside office, ImmDef became part of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ICIJ). ImmDef supports coalition work by providing trainings, volunteering in support of DACA and Citizenship trainings, providing Know Your Rights information to asylum seekers welcomed by the Coalition, working with the coalition to combat abuses by the local Customs and Border Protection office, and providing representation in bond matters to clients referred by the coalition’s Rapid Response Network. ImmDef also collaborates with ICIJ's Legal Resources Roundtable to provide legal training to the local legal community so that they can better serve Inland residents facing deportation.
ICIJ and coalition partners have similarly been instrumental to ImmDef’s work on behalf of clients, including identifying potential sponsors, assisting with bond fundraising and humanitarian support for recently released clients, and collaboration on federal litigation on behalf of immigrants. This collaboration, and the leveraging of resources to increase our impact and the impact of other coalition partners, is central to the mission of ImmDef’s Riverside office to increase access to counsel and to protect the due process rights of immigrants in the Inland region.