About us


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.

Who we are


The Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC) provides high quality legal services so that vulnerable immigrants and their families in PA have access to justice and a more secure future.


Vulnerable immigrants and their families have a voice, dignity, and hope in communities across Pennsylvania.



We embody respect, transparency, professionalism, and accountability.


We are flexible in responding to the demands of the moment.


We are intentional and resourceful in our efforts to create change.


We inspire immigrants to know their rights and overcome obstacles to navigate the future.


We work in partnership to share strengths, skills, and knowledge on behalf of immigrants across the Commonwealth.


We embrace an inclusive culture that respects differences.

Annual Reports

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."