Community Education

We work to build the capacity of advocates and directly-impacted individuals to respond to criminal-immigration issues and support policy advocacy efforts through community education. We believe that immigration law should not be a monopoly of lawyers. We also recognize that in order to be meaningful, information must be disseminated in accessible ways, and that such education is critical in driving community responses and actions. And we feel it is critical to work in partnership with impacted communities in order to best learn about ongoing needs and to achieve fundamental changes.

In response to community demands, we provide legal support to community-based organizations that help base building efforts and fortify the advocacy power of their memberships, and design and conduct trainings about the current deportation system as well as recent trends that immigrants who have had contact with the criminal (in)justice system.

Our community education efforts include the following:

Deportation 101:

Deportation 101 is a training tool that educates and builds the capacity of immigrant and criminal justice service providers, immigrant leaders, and community organizers to respond to their members’ and clients’ interactions with the criminal justice system. It functions as a free, 1-2 day-long seminar on the criminal-immigration system, accompanied by a 1500+-page manual developed jointly in 2005 by IDP and Families for Freedom. Detention Watch Network and National Immigration Project, who contributed to an expansion of Deportation 101 in 2007, now also serve as important partners in developing and presenting these trainings. The curriculum has been tailored for particular state and regional needs and provides detailed background on the deportation system; basic steps to address the needs of someone facing deportation; and an overview of tactics and strategies to build case campaigns and respond to detention abuse. In response to high demand, it now also includes expanded sections on ICE ACCESS programs – including thorough explanations of what S-Comm, Criminal Alien Program, and 287(g) are and how they work, how detainers function as the primary tool to transfer immigrants from the criminal justice to the deportation system through these programs, and how campaigns across the country are challenging these programs. We have used Deportation 101 to train more than one thousand people around the country, including in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, the Washington DC metropolitan area, Texas, and Illinois. Our manual is available here in English and Spanish.

Rikers Workshops

We hold biweekly workshops at Rikers Island with incarcerated immigrants, many of whom face a high risk of deportation because of their contact with the criminal justice system. These bilingual (Spanish and English) workshops are designed to help orient immigrants in the criminal justice system to what they face and to provide practical tips and strategies to fight deportation. We also provide a Know-Your-Rights sheet in Spanish and English about detainers through these workshops.

Workshops: Know Your Rights With Police and ICE

IDP conducts bilingual (Spanish and English) Know-Your-Rights workshop for community members. Our workshops include: An explanation of the different ways you may be tagged for deportation in the criminal legal system (such as under ICE’s “Secure Communities” program) and how to protect your rights when dealing with the police and ICE.

To request a workshop in your community, please call us at 212.725.6485 or email Mizue Aizeki at maizeki@immigrantdefenseproject.org.