Community Support Network

In partnership with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, LIRS launched Community Support in 2012, a national service model to examine the efficiency of community-based services as an alternative to immigration detention. This initiative inspires volunteers and funds nonprofit service providers in seven major metropolitan regions to offer a continuum of holistic care that facilitates immigrants’ release from detention and provides immediate support and stabilization services, torture and trauma rehabilitation, and eventually long term community integration.

What are community-based alternatives to detention?

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Casa Mariposa in Arizona

Community-based alternatives to detention (ATDs) offer holistic, wrap-around services and support to individual migrants released from the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The program provides culturally appropriate case management, ongoing legal assistance, and housing to individuals who demonstrate a need for such services and are eligible to be released from detention. ATDs allow vulnerable migrants who pose no threat to society to lead dignified lives while navigating the adjudication process.

Further, community-based alternatives ensure holistic care by facilitating access to community services including but not limited to:

  • Health care
  • Educational opportunities
  • Vocational training and job training
  • Spiritual support
  • Social engagement
  • Housing

Individuals served by Community Support partners are empowered to integrate into their new surroundings and encouraged to fulfill ongoing legal expectations. This ATD does not use common enforcement methods such as ankle monitors, house arrest, or GPS tracking, and helps restore personal dignity and pride while allowing an individual to participate as a full member of their new home communities.

To learn more about the work of Community Support and the clients served by the program, check out the Community Support Network eNewsletter archives.
To read LIRS reports on Alternatives to Detention and other detention issues, please visit the Alternatives to Detention page.

Community Support partners include:

  • Arizona: Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP), Tucson Restoration Project (Casa Mariposa)
  • Illinois: Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI)
  • Massachusetts: Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM), Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR)
  • Minnesota: Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM), Advocates for Human Rights (AHR), Guadalupe Alternative Programs (GAP), Conversations With Friends, Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women, Simpson Housing Services
  • New Jersey: First Friends of New Jersey and New York
  • Texas: American Gateways, Casa Marianella, Center for Survivors of Torture
  • Washington: Advocates for Immigrants in Detention Northwest (AID NW), Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)

For more information on our partners, click here.