Launched on March 31, 2008, the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is an alliance of leading immigrants’-rights organizations, including Advocates for Human Rights, the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration, the American Civil Liberties Union‘s Immigrants’ Rights Project, the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, ASISTA, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the National Immigration Law Center, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and Pro Bono Net. IAN’s mission is to “increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them.” The Network pursues these objectives via five major projects:
1. The Nonprofit Resource Center provides free, web-based tools and resources for nonprofit immigration advocates, organizers and service providers. Resources include daily immigration news reports and alerts, a national training-sessions calendar, an online library with more than 5,500 resources covering 12 areas of immigration law and policy, a legal referral directory with information on hundreds of nonprofit immigration legal-services organizations, and an online message board (“Community Forum”) moderated by immigration attorneys. Further, IAN regularly offers, free of charge, live and archived webinars, podcasts, and training videos on timely immigration-related topics.
2. The Pro Bono Resource Center provides free online tools and resources for pro bono attorneys representing low-income immigrants. In addition to a large library of training materials and resources, this entity also features a directory of pro bono immigration organizations with employment opportunities, information about partner pro bono projects, and access to the IAN “Community Forum.”
3. CitizenshipWorks provides online tools to help low- and moderate-income individuals answer important questions about their eligibility for naturalization, find free or low-cost legal help to guide them through the naturalization application process, and prepare for naturalization tests.
4. ImmigrationLawHelp.org is a searchable online directory of more than 950 free or low-cost nonprofit immigration legal-services providers in all 50 U.S. states.
5. Own the DREAM is a national campaign to assist immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Most importantly, it helps them take advantage of the opportunity to apply for the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. Toward that end, Own the Dream offers an online self-screening tool to help DACA applicants determine their eligibility for the program. It also features a calendar of community events, such as information sessions and application workshops, as well as news and frequently asked questions about the Deferred Action program.
In 2010, IAN and its partner groups strongly opposed the Arizona legislature’s passage of SB 1070, a bill deputizing state police to check with federal authorities on the immigration status of criminal suspects whose behavior or circumstances seemed to suggest that they might be in the United States illegally.
In addition, IAN and its partners favor comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path-to-citizenship for illegal aliens currently residing in the U.S.
Numerous charitable foundations have furnished IAN with financial support. Among thse are the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Four Freedoms Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, George Soros‘s Open Society Foundations, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.