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This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

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Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

Afghan Asylum Applications in Michigan

Help all 1,700 of our new Afghan neighbors in Michigan apply for asylum by the deadline

Posted March 16, 2022

Background & Context

The U.S. government evacuated thousands of Afghans to the United States after the Taliban takeover of Kabul, but has not provided a clear path to permanent legal status. Unless Congress passes the Afghan Adjustment Act, the best way for most Afghan arrivals to gain permanent status is to file for asylum, which must be submitted within one year of their arrival. MIRC is partnering with Lighthouse Immigration Advocates, Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center, and other nonprofit legal services organizations in a state-wide effort to ensure that all 1,700 of the recent Afghan evacuees that are being resettled in Michigan have access to legal assistance to help them file for asylum before the one-year filing deadline.

Work & Deliverables

We are looking for volunteers who can work on-site in the Detroit and Grand Rapids areas. We have lots of different ways to get involved! No immigration background required, law students welcome.

1. Participate in weekly or monthly structured workshops to interview individuals and fill out their asylum applications.

2. Act as a mentor to other attorneys in a workshop setting.

3. Take full representation for individuals and work at your own pace with support from mentors.

4. Attend asylum interviews with clients.

5. Provide orientation for individuals to prepare them for asylum interviews.

6. Provide follow-up support writing briefs or representing individuals at the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Attend Afghan Asylum Pro Bono Kick-Off zoom meeting
  • Complete asylum law training (via zoom)
  • Sign up for an asylum workshop or be paired with client

Collaboration Phase

  • Interview clients at an asylum workshop OR in a full representation setting
  • Fill out clients' asylum application form
  • Assemble application packet with pre-printed supporting documents
  • Reach out to mentors with any questions

Wrap Up

  • Check out for the day with workshop directors
  • Confirm submission of the application (for full rep)

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 1-5 hours
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Additional Training Details: Training is on Zoom.
  • Site-Preference: On-Site
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Preferred Languages: Dari, Pashto
  • Required Legal Expertise: None
  • Mentoring Provided: Yes
  • Supervision Provided: Yes


Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) is a legal resource center for Michigan's immigrant communities. MIRC works to build a thriving Michigan where immigrant communities experience equity and belonging. In order to realize this mission the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center: - Builds capacity through education and training about immigration law and the complex relationship between immigration status and immigrants' rights in areas including access to public benefits, family law and child welfare, civil rights, and worker's rights. - Answers questions and provides technical support to attorneys and advocates serving low-income immigrants. - Recruits, trains, and mentors volunteer pro bono attorneys. - Leads systemic advocacy to advance the rights of low-income immigrants and their families. - Tracks and analyzes legislative and legal developments related to immigration law and immigrants' rights. - Builds coalitions among immigrant advocacy and other social justice and civil rights organizations statewide. - Represents individual clients in priority areas including naturalization and citizenship matters and the rights of survivors of domestic violence, refugees, unaccompanied minors, and farmworker rights. - Represents clients in impact cases involving violations of civil rights by law enforcement or government entities, access to public benefits for immigrants and children of immigrants, the unauthorized practice of immigration law, and any other civil legal issue relating to immigration status.

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