Free Immigration Clinics, “Know your Rights” Workshops, and Trainings
Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”) holds community events such as free immigration clinics and “Know your Rights” workshops. The goal of these events are to empower migrants to fully participate in their communities by informing members about their Constitutional rights, providing legal advice about our immigration laws, and creating safe spaces for migrants to come together without fear of interference.
In 2013 and 2012, we organized visits by the Mexican Consulate, so that Mexican citizens residing in Montana could obtain passports and ID cards without travelling out of the state.
In 2012, we provided free legal clinics for immigrants in the West Yellowstone and Gallatin Valley areas, and will be expanding our efforts to other cities with larger migrant communities. As an immigration attorney, our Executive Director, Shahid Haque-Hausrath, provided free legal consultations to dozens of migrants. We also provided health screenings and services in partnership with community health clinics, Catholic churches, and faculty and students across Montana State University to build awareness and bridges across communities.
In 2010 and 2011, we conducted free “know your rights” workshops for migrant farmworkers who come to Montana during the summer primarily to pick cherries in the Flathead area. Partnering with Rural Employment Opportunities, Shahid Haque-Hausrath informed these migrants about their Constitutional rights, what to do if they encounter law enforcement, and answered questions about immigration laws.
MIJA grew out of immigrant justice work previously led by the Gallatin Valley Human Rights Task Force (GVHRTF) and its community advisory board “Salud y Comunidad: Latinos en Montana” made up of Mexican migrant community members and bilingual community organizers.
Throughout the years, our staff and board members have presented numerous free trainings to debunk myths about immigrants, explain our immigration system, and discuss the need for comprehensive immigration reform. These educational courses are intended to shift the divisive rhetoric that is all too common in our current debate about immigration. You can find one of our presentations by clicking here. If you would like to invite us to speak at your group or event, please contact us.
The following are just a sampling of some of our previous events:
- In May 2010, Mr. Haque-Hausrath presented a training course to The Policy Institute.
- In August 2010, Mr. Haque-Hausrath taught at the Western States Center’s Community Strategic Training Initiative in Portland, Oregon.
- In October 2010, Mr. Haque-Hausrath and Dr. Bethany Letiecq presented an educational seminar at the library in Bozeman, Montana.
- In January 2011, Mr. Haque-Hausrath presented a training to the American Association of University Women in Great Falls, Montana.
- On Thursday, May 17, 2011, Mr. Haque-Hausrath presented a course to attorneys for Continuing Legal Education credit entitled “What Non-Lawyers Need to Know About Immigration Law.”