In addition to providing direct immigration legal services, the Tulsa Immigrant Resource Network (TIRN) at The University of Tulsa College of Law is dedicated to serving the noncitizen population of Tulsa in other ways. One of TIRN’s goals is to provide current information on immigration rights and policies. In service of that goal, the program has provided free legal advice at numerous community events, including the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations’ health fair, town halls, local school open houses, and on local radio stations with large noncitizen listening audiences. Through these events, TIRN seeks to provide a safe forum for the community to ask immigration questions, and to serve as a trusted source for information on such immigration crisis as sudden ICE raids.
As part of establishing this trusting connection with the noncitizen community, TIRN also works to cultivate relationships with the community leaders. In this past year, TIRN representatives were invited to speak on current immigration issues at the Greater Tulsa Area Hispanic Affairs Commission, a body appointed by the Mayor of Tulsa and the Board of Tulsa County Commissioners. These relationships allow the program to enlist community leaders as co-advocates on behalf of the noncitizen population in these uncertain times.
In addition, TIRN is dedicated to educating other providers who service the noncitizen community and holds monthly training sessions that are open to all service providers, legal and otherwise. The topics covered at the training sessions can range from general information on the various forms of immigration relief to how to interview trauma survivors. TIRN was also invited to present at the Oklahoma statewide conference for school counselors on current immigration issues, again providing important information for professionals who interact with noncitizens on a daily basis. In addition, TIRN has partnered with Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) to provide survivors of domestic violence with access to legal immigration services, and has provided staff in-services for DVIS and shelter advocates on immigration and the intersection with domestic violence and necessary care.
TIRN continues to grow its cross-professional endeavors. In an exciting development, TIRN will be relocating to downtown Tulsa where the program will share space with TU’s Oxley College of Health Science clinics. In this interdisciplinary environment, TIRN clients will have access to lawyers, nurse practitioners, and mental health providers. As in the struggle for access to justice, marginalized populations struggle for access to care providers, which can often impede or even derail a process seeking legal relief. In particular, a noncitizen population has often suffered great trauma, and can struggle with medical conditions for which treatment has been unavailable. This innovative interdisciplinary collaborative is crucial in providing our clients with paths to healing and care.
TIRN is directed by Mimi Marton, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law.