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Since our founding, United Stateless has raised awareness about a largely unknown and underreported issue—statelessness in the U.S. We work in 4 main areas: Community Building, Research & Student Engagement, Advocacy, and Stateless Services. Below are highlights of our impacts.
Starting from our founding group of 7 stateless people, the United Stateless community has grown to include 15 stateless members and over 20 allies and volunteers from the legal, academic, and communications fields. We have also connected with over 30 stateless people in U.S. immigration detention centers.
Our first advocacy win was to petition the United Nations to change the number of stateless people in the U.S. from “0” to “*” (for unknown) on their website. Since then, these accomplishments position us to impact on policy:
Contributed to the methodology and participated in a groundbreaking report by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS): “Statelessness in the United States: A Study to Estimate and Profile the US Stateless Population.” You can read USL response to the report here. [USL response]
Championed the inclusion of stateless solutions in both the 2021 Immigration Action Plan and Transition Report 2020: Refugee Council USA for the new Biden-Harris administration to implement.
Presented at the World Conference on Statelessness in the Hague, raising awareness of statelessness in the US and inspiring grassroots stateless-led organizations worldwide.
Shared our stories and learnings as subject matter experts to help influence change: USL Response to ‘Stateless’ on Netflix, “The Bare Minimum", and “I am Not Alone: The United Stateless of America”.
Research & Student Engagement
We build partnerships with students and faculty at colleges, universities, and law schools to undertake research on statelessness, increase awareness, and equip students to be advocates. We have:
Partnered with Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and Brooklyn Law School Immigration Society on educational annual events that bring a human face to statelessness.
Established a formal volunteer program and onboarded 10 volunteers, including undergraduates, law students, attorneys, and social workers.
Partnered with a 3rd year American University law student to create this fellowship with Hebrew Immigrant Aids Society (HIAS).
Over the past year, USL has laid the groundwork for a new program linking stateless people in the U.S. to services, with a focus on legal services. We have:
Developed an intake and referral process and are building relationships with legal service providers and graduating law students to expand representation.
Established a Stateless in Detention project that offers moral support to stateless people in detention through a pen pal program and educates legal service providers who visit detention centers on how to identify and assist stateless people.
Received grant from Detention Watch Network (DWN) to fund our Preventing Arbitrary Immigration Detention through U.S. Stateless Coalition, Advocacy, and Legal Services Initiative.
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