WHAT IS MISC?
The Macomb Immigrant Service Center (MISC) provides comprehensive human service and empowerment programs to foster and increase self-sufficiency, success and independence among immigrants of all cultures within our community.
In other words: MISC seeks to serves immigrant individuals and families in all ways possible.
Although our core clientele and much of our staff are Spanish-speaking, MISC reaches out to and serves clients from all parts of the world. Since our official incorporation as a nonprofit in 2010, hundreds of Macomb-area residents have come to us English and Citizenship instruction, notary services, document translations, volunteer interpreters for doctor appointments or phone calls to their child's school – any possible hurdle to daily life in America.
But above all, foreign-born residents of Macomb come to MISC for high-integrity and affordable immigration assistance. Our trained staff members, recognized and accredited for this work by the U.S. Department of Justice, will not trick people with false hopes nor turn anyone away due to a lack of ability to pay.
The Macomb Immigrant Service MISC has been accomplishing much since its launch as a 501c3 in 2010. It has:
- provided legal immigration services and legal representation to hundreds of immigrant families in the Macomb region (never turning a person away for inability to pay.) MISC is one of only two nonprofits in Macomb County recognized and accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice for its level of skilled practice in the field.
- offered regular classes, year-round in English (ESL) and citizenship.
- maintained a 100% success rate over five years of “Citizenship Preparation” classes: Every student attending and completing the course has successfully passed the test to become a United States citizen.
- partnered with the UAW and NIH to provide year-round Spanish-language community forums on vital workplace safety and life-skill topics, including: family financial planning, child nutrition and health, household and workplace chemicals, fire safety, ergonomics and CPR.
- won numerous local, state and regional awards and commendations (including from the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan State University, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, the Macomb Intermediate School District ELL Bilingual Instruction Program, and The Detroit News, which chose MISC Executive Director Emily Diaz-Torres as a "2012 Michiganian of the Year.")
Current Plans and Priorities
In June 2017, the MISC Board of Directors chose three organizational responses to the surge of immigration raids, hate crimes and school bullying now terrorizing foreign-born communities in metro Detroit.
- Create a $50,000 "legal support fund" with particular priority for undocumented Macomb County families eligible for legal status but unable to pay the average $3,500 in government application fees plus 100 hours of legal support.
- Create and encourage a youth-led Macomb-based project to both monitor and slow the surge of hate-based school bullying. The project will include both a phone or social media reporting "hotline" and a student-designed outreach program or network.
- Inaugurate an annual "E Pluribus Unum" Award to annually honor an individual or organization whose work deepens America’s understanding that our diverse citizenry is our unique strength.