Our Story

About Mid-South Immigration Advocates

The Noble Journey

Groups of terrified yet determined people have migrated to this continent for hundreds of years, fleeing persecution and violence. Imagine being so desperate that you would pack up your family and leave your life behind to trek hundreds or thousands of miles to a new and unfamiliar country. Imagine that. That was then, and it’s also now. ​

The Uncertain Path

Until the 1960s, immigration was unlimited from the Western Hemisphere, but as attitudes have changed, immigrating to the United States has become more and more restrictive. For most people, there is no easy path to citizenship or “line” in which to wait. There are some who come to our borders seeking refuge, as they were in danger where they were. There are some who came seeking success and opportunities. And, there are some who simply come seeking solace, safety and security.

These are the People We Serve

At Mid-South Immigration Advocates (MIA), we protect the most vulnerable members of our community by providing holistic, vigorous legal representation to children, survivors of violence, asylum seekers, and families at risk of deportation.

Our Mission

MIA is the first nonprofit law firm in the tri-state area whose core mission is to provide free and affordable immigration representation to low-income clients. Founded in 2013 by local immigration attorneys who recognized a need for quality legal services, MIA empowers those who feel powerless and helps give a voice to those who feel silenced by guiding clients through the immigration system with experience and compassion. ​
Our Values

Access to Justice

Access is half the battle. MIA focuses its resources on serving the most vulnerable communities, providing representation to those who would otherwise not have access to legal services.

Integrity and Accountability

MIA empowers its staff with the resources to maintain high standards, emphasizing impact, quality, and professional ethics in the provision of legal services. We won’t allow our clients, who are some of the most vulnerable among us, to be taken advantage of, misguided or move forward without clarity.

Partnership

We are stronger together. MIA partners with community-based organizations, direct services providers, and other Mid-South agencies to maximize the impact of our services.

Secular and Nonsectarian

MIA serves the immigrant community of the Mid-South regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, political opinion, national origin, criminal history, or immigration status. Immigrants’ rights are human rights.

Sustainability

MIA makes strategic decisions regarding programming, funding, and use of resources to ensure that the organization will be able to continue its work well into the future.

Partnerships

MEMigration Coalition

A group of Memphis-based nonprofit immigration programs created the MEMigration Coalition in 2015 to increase our collective capacity to meet the overwhelming need for immigration services in our area. Our MEMigration partners are Advocates for Immigrant Rights, Latino Memphis’ Derechos/Immigrant Rights Defense Center, World Relief Memphis, Catholic Charities of West Tennessee’s Immigrant Services, and Community Legal Center’s Immigrant Justice Program.

Welcome South

Welcome South is a coalition of nonprofit law firms providing deportation defense to immigrants in the Mid-South region. Members include MIA, Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Community Legal Center’s Immigrant Justice Program. Welcome South was established in 2019 in response to the rapid increase in immigrants and asylum seekers subjected to detention and deportation in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition

Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state.

Detention Watch Network

Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition building power through collective advocacy, grassroots organizing, and strategic communications to abolish immigration detention in the United States. Network members include formerly detained people and their families, community and faith-based groups, legal service providers like MIA, lawyers, national and regional advocates and organizers, and law school clinics.