From its origins until 2021, CCIJ was a fiscally-sponsored project. In July 2020, CCIJ embarked on the journey of becoming an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, a goal we reached on January 1, 2022.
We utilize coordination, advocacy, and legal services to fight for the liberation of immigrants in detention in California.
We envision a world where no one is subject to incarceration (physical or electronic) or family separation.
We move beyond traditional legal services and support innovative approaches to liberation and empowerment of detained immigrants and their communities.
“ We now see that the problem is the system itself and any attempts to fix the systems are only band-aids. And having seen the trauma and horror caused by this system, we’ve had enough of band-aids.”
Legal Director, Lisa Knox
How It All Started
Following the 2016 elections, NCCIJ* and NCRRIDN**, two immigrant removal defense collaboratives, joined efforts to provide better legal assistance to the detained immigrant community in Northern and Central California. CCIJ was born of this merger.
After several years of incorporating rapid response, detained representation, legal screenings, and data strategy into our work, we realized that traditional ideas of lawyering and non-profit work were not resulting in the systemic change we desired. We realized that the only truly effective way to do this work is through community-legal partnership and power-building of impacted communities.
*NCCIJ: Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice
**NCRRIDN: Northern California Rapid Response and Immigrant Defense Network
Not Your Traditional
Legal Services Non-Profit
Seeking justice in a system that criminalizes people of color and keeps people caged in conditions that violate their most fundamental rights has led us to question the traditional non-profit legal services model. That is why we believe that coordination, advocacy and legal services have to go hand in hand in order to move forward strategies for liberation on individual and systemic levels.
The Artist Behind
CCIJ recently went through a massive transformation because we wanted our visual identity to align with our mission, vision, and purpose. We worked closely with Enrique, an artist and substance abuse counselor at the time detained at Golden State Annex (NOW FREE!!!). Enrique created the initial design of CCIJ’s logo which we later digitized and adapted.