Flashback Feature: CAIR Coalition

Last Updated

December 14, 2023

Motivated by the lack of legal representation available for immigrants in the nation’s capital in the 1990s, the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition was initially conceptualized in 1997 by a coalition of leaders of nonprofit immigration service providers, including former CLINIC Executive Director Donald Kerwin. During this decade, few states with large immigrant populations had a state immigration coalition. This deficit left issues of policy, direct services, funding, and public education for immigrants unaddressed, leaving an already vulnerable demographic without resources. The Greater D.C. area suffered greatly from this deficit. Employing the use of grants and unrestricted funding, CLINIC hired Deborah Sanders as a staff attorney with the sole purpose of creating a coalition serving the District of Columbia, Southeastern Maryland, and Northern Virginia.