Rural Immigration Project
The Rural Immigration Project provides legal representation and education to immigrant individuals and families living in Greater Minnesota. Low-income immigrants and refugees in Greater Minnesota face unique barriers to accessing legal services and immigration-related, culturally-appropriate information. As a result, demand for ILCM’s services in Greater Minnesota continues to outpace capacity.
ILCM has worked in Worthington, Minnesota for over 12 years, reaching a peak after the devastating Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid at the Swift Plant in December of 2006. Since 2006, ILCM has responded to the need for immigration legal services in Nobles County through in-person consultations, full-representation, and educational presentations. In 2009, an ILCM attorney moved to Worthington and began providing full-time services to the community. In 2010, ILCM expanded the Worthington Immigration project into the Rural Immigration Project, and began providing immigration legal services, representation, and advocacy services across a range of cities in Minnesota from Willmar and St. James, to Marshall, Mankato, Owatonna, Albert Lea, and Austin.
In order to better serve these isolated and vulnerable immigrants, ILCM employs two full-time staff members in our Greater Minnesota offices. ILCM’s Worthington office recently hired a Karen community leader as a legal assistant to serve the growing refugee population there, in conjunction with the Spanish-speaking attorney also working out of the Worthington office. A long-time Latina leader was also hired to open an office serving Northwest Minnesota immigrant clients living in rural areas. The Northwest office is in Moorhead, and maintains weekly office hours in Crookston. These new legal assistants and leaders on staff enrich ILCM’s networks, and provide services in critical areas for Minnesota’s growing immigrant and refugee families.