The Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”) is a statewide organization dedicated to giving voice to the immigrant communities in Montana and working to improve their lives over the long term. The acronym for the organization, mija, is an affectionate abbreviation of “mi hija” which means “my daughter” in Spanish. We chose this name because we believe that family unity is an important and fundamental human right — and one that many migrants are denied due to injustices in our immigration system.
Over the last decade, the State of Montana has experienced growth in the numbers of migrants arriving here in search of work and a better life for their families. With the influx of migrants, we have witnessed a host of new challenges and injustices. Migrants are commonly confronted with financial, food and housing insecurity, racial prejudice, language barriers, cultural and political barriers, overt hostility to their presence, and inability to access services.
We at MIJA work directly with members of the immigrant community and we bear witness to the struggle, the exploitation of workers, the abuses endured by undocumented women vulnerable to the mistreatment of those with power over their lives, and the fear and isolation experienced by families threatened by deportation and separation. As we at MIJA have gotten to know immigrants from the global south, many of whom are long-time members of our communities and enrich our lives with their diverse cultural heritages, we have grown to deeply understand their courageous efforts to overcome economic hardships and troubled social conditions in their native countries and their desire to make a better way for their children and families.
MIJA advocates for the marginalized immigrant populations in Montana, and strives to improve their lives by listening to the issues affecting them and working to directly help them.
Our mission is:
- To provide resources and services to empower migrants in our communities, and encourage broader civic participation and engagement.
- To combat the mistreatment of immigrants from xenophobia, discrimination, harassment, or racial profiling.
- To inform the public about the many diverse people living in Montana, to promote policies that welcome and support the growth of immigrant communities in our state, and to combat policies that marginalize migrant communities.
- To support and encourage immigrants to obtain legal immigration status and, if they choose, citizenship.
- To provide assistance to undocumented immigrants who, due to social, political, and economic conditions beyond their control, are often driven to the United States without legal status.
- To promote the dignity of all Montanans and the understanding that no human being is illegal.
- To acknowledge the economic, social, and intellectual contributions that immigrants have made to enrich our community.
- To debunk harmful myths about immigrants, and educate the public about the history of immigration in our state and how it has impacted our culture and way of life.
To fulfill these goals, we need your help. Please contact us to join our organization, and please consider a tax-deductable donation.
Please follow these links on the right side of the screen for more information about our staff and board members.