Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN) began as an ad-hoc coalition of immigrant rights
activists and advocates in 1987 under the name Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Services (NIRRS) in order to develop a Santa Clara County response to the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. For over a decade, the NIRRS was central to statewide campaigns against all the anti-immigration legislation and ballot initiatives that followed.
In 1998, NIRRS changed its name to Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN) and received seed funding to hire staff and establish the county’s first-ever multilingual information hotline. Since that time, SIREN has grown to include policy analysis and advocacy, community education, citizenship application assistance, and community and service provider trainings.
SIREN’s mission is to empower low-income immigrants and refugees in Santa Clara County through community education and organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy and naturalization services. We believe that all people regardless of legal status or nationality are entitled to essential services, human dignity, basic rights and protections, and access to full participation in society.
SIREN has a vision of a new America where immigrants are valued, integrated, and seen as essential to our society, and where the human rights of all persons are protected and honored.
SIREN’s core value is immigrant empowerment. We focus on immigrants themselves being the primary agents of change. By strengthening and deepening the participation level and leadership of immigrants, we work toward long-term systemic changes that promote social justice and equality, freedom from oppression, and an end to poverty. Through these long-term systemic changes, immigrants will have the opportunity for individual/social responsibility, self-determination and political participation. By accomplishing this, we will have a society that is compassionate, inclusive and united.
SIREN Strategic Goals
SIREN is unique among immigrant rights organizations in that it combines policy work, community organizing and direct services. SIREN developed the following three program areas to further its immigrant rights agenda:
- Community Organizing – To assist communities in tapping their potential for leadership and to allow empowerment, education and communication among all communities.
- Immigration Legal Services – To provide application assistance, information and education to immigrant and refugee communities in order that they may become full participants in society.
- Policy Advocacy – To promote policies that protects immigrant rights and empowers immigrants to make an impact on the political decisions that affect their lives.
SIREN’s integration of the three programmatic strategies guarantees that SIREN’s work, in partnership with countless ally organizations and community members, consistently reflects and responds to the real needs and problems faced by Santa Clara immigrant and refugee communities.