In the face of stepped-up immigration enforcement, millions of non-citizens—many of them taxpaying lawful permanent residents—are at risk of extended detention and permanent separation from their families and communities. Expanding legal representation for immigrants facing detention and deportation has thus become a crucial last line of defense for our immigrant communities. Studies show that immigrants who are represented are up to ten times more likely to establish a right to remain in the United States than those who are unrepresented. But, almost no non-citizens are legally entitled to government-funded representation, and most go unrepresented, facing permanent separation from their loved ones, their livelihoods, and their communities if deported.

Communities have begun to organize with a growing and diverse group of state and local governments to fill the gaps left by the failure of the federal system. These local governments are now spearheading efforts to create new policies and programs that serve as national models for innovation and reform. To build on the successes pioneered by the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, Vera has created the SAFE (Safety & Fairness for Everyone) Network. SAFE Network is a group of diverse local jurisdictions dedicated to the goal of providing publicly funded universal representation for people facing deportation. Much like a public defense model in the criminal justice system, the universal representation model advanced by the SAFE Network envisions a system where everyone at risk of deportation has access to due process and a fair day in court even if they cannot afford an attorney. The local leaders in the SAFE Network are committed to keeping immigrant families together and communities safe by protecting due process for all residents.

SAFE Network

The SAFE Network is currently active in 18 communities within 11 states, all of them dedicated to the goal of providing publicly funded universal representation to people facing deportation.

Select a shaded state to view jurisdictions in the network.