July, 2021

Fighting for Justice

Kaleigh Dryden

I’ve worked at CIAC since May 2019 when I started as an intake coordinator, but found myself wanting to learn more about the legal side of immigration. CIAC sponsored me as I went through the learning requirements to become an Accredited Representative. Becoming Accredited by the Department of Justice meant I would be able to take on my own caseload and operate similarly to an attorney. Once Accredited, I jumped right in and started taking consultations.

In my previous life, I was a paramedic. As I continued to work at CIAC, I began to see several of the same administrative issues and government failures as I had in the emergency services: not enough funding, agency unresponsiveness, slow processing times, and government assumptions of guilt over innocence. The injustice of allowing people to come to America only to be trapped in a complex and unyielding system was increasingly frustrating to me, so I decided to go back to school to learn how to do something about it.

I started a masters program in January 2020, and subsequently started law school. I am halfway through my joint degrees at Pitt and am thoroughly enjoying learning about government failures and how to remedy them.

Sometimes the system seems insurmountable, but with enough people working towards good I know it can be made a more just system for all. I am convinced that God has a great plan for this country and the people who come here, and praise Him for allowing me to start my career at CIAC to build a solid foundation while serving the people of many nations.


CIAC In the News

We were featured in the Northside Chronicle in June 2021.

Northside’s Christian Immigration Advocacy Center setting big goals under new direction.

It may be a small organization, but the Christian Immigration Advocacy Center (CIAC), located in Pittsburgh’s Northside, does big work.

CIAC works with immigrants and refugees throughout Pittsburgh to assist them in getting green cards and visas; filing for U.S. citizenship; and securing family reunification, asylum, and removal defense services. They’re a local organization made up of just one branch, but their services—namely, immigration law—can stretch nationally…

Read the full article

In The Community

We were honored to represent immigrants and refugees during World Refugee Day on June 20, 2021 at Allegheny Center Alliance Church.

We were able to speak with people about the work we do in the community and to raise support.