Founded in the Fall of 2016, The Right to Immigration Institute (TRII) was started by three Brandeis Students and one Brandeis Professor with the goal of addressing the problem of under-representation that faces thousands of non-citizens immigrating to the United States every year. Since its foundation, TRII has been working towards becoming a Board of Immigration Appeals recognized organization so we are able to become accredited and provide representation to those most in need. To learn more about our story, continue reading below.
During the Fall of 2016, Munis Safajou, then a senior at Brandeis University, was searching for an internship so she could complete her Legal Studies Minor. After completing Professor Douglas Smith's Immigration and Human Rights course in the Spring of 2016, Munis was intrigued when she learned about the Recognition and Accreditation program that is part of the United States immigration legal system.
After meeting with Professor Smith and connecting with Victoria St. Jean, a sophomore at Brandeis who had taken the Immigration and Human Rights course with Munis, the three of them began to consider starting a nonprofit that could become recognized and help them become accredited. Jonathan Goldman was taking Professor Smith's class during the Fall of 2016 and they reached out to him to include in this process.
After several weeks of brainstorming and the outing of a business plan and Articles of Incorporation, the team of four moved forwards to become incorporated in Massachusetts and applied for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
The Right to Immigration Institute seeks to provide counsel and resources for people navigating immigration proceedings and to provide educational programs to assist those interested in becoming accredited representatives
our next steps
We are in the process of applying for recognition and accreditation with the OLAP and the BIA. Following our application, we are hoping to begin representation services in the Fall of 2017. In addition, we are in the process of working with Waltham High School to see how we can support non-citizens in their school.