PIRC Mission

PIRC was founded in 1996 on the principles of service and access to justice in response to the detention of the refugees of the Golden Venture.  Our principles guide PIRC’s programs, protecting immigrants’ rights to freedom and opportunity in the United States, giving voice to the most vulnerable immigrants and their families.  PIRC provides free, effective legal representation, legal services, education and advocacy to help immigrants obtain or protect their legal status.

PIRC History

[photo: original art created by Golden Venture refugees.]

On June 6, 1993, the Golden Venture ship ran aground with approximately 286 Chinese nationals aboard.  Within two days, these men and women were transported by the INS  to the county jail in York, Pennsylvania, and other detention facilities across the country. Fleeing political persecution and coercive population control policies, these individuals seeking asylum had no voice in a complicated, American immigration legal system.

The York community responded to the indefinite detention of the Golden Venture passengers with impassioned legal advocacy and a vigilant spirit of community support. Their outrage fueled a shared commitment to the words inscribed on the Supreme Court entrance:  Equal Access to Justice. Each person in our nation shall have equal access to justice. From this resolute belief in justice, the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center was formed with the mission of providing equal access to justice to those who have no voice.  Today PIRC continues to serve as a light in the darkness, a voice for the most vulnerable among us, and an advocate for those least able to access justice. 

                

 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

    Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.   ~ Margaret Mead

 

 



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