our mission is our why
Immigrant Legal Services provides affordable, quality legal services and educates the community to help immigrants become fully-participating members of society. Many people require the services of a licensed and experienced immigration attorney, but cannot afford to pay one. Immigrant Legal Services exists to provide this help.
Each of our attorneys and staff members believe in the power of people and the power of immigrants. We are fueled by our passion for justice and equality.
Sara* was just 12 years old. She never knew the identity of her father. Her mother disappeared when she was 3. Her grandmother was raising her as best she could, but she couldn’t protect Sara from the beatings of her two uncles. Her grandmother also couldn’t protect her from two of the most violent gangs in the world, who often recruited children as young as 10 and are known for raping their female recruits.
Sara had just one chance for the life every child deserves. She had distant relatives who had legally immigrated to the United States many years before. She decided to make the dangerous journey over land from El Salvador all the way up through Mexico to the United States to join them in hopes of a better life. She was 11 when she made the trip, accompanied only by her 12 year-old cousin.
Because of the efforts of Immigrant Legal Services and its generous supporters, Sara now has permanent legal status in the U.S., is permanently in the custody of those relatives, and is receiving the care that every child deserves. It is people like Sara who feed our fire for this work.
Fernando* and Luz* had spent nearly 20 years and thousands of dollars on lawyers and immigration fees trying to obtain legal status for themselves and their children when they found Immigrant Legal Services. Before coming to Immigrant Legal Services they were advised by different lawyers to try several different types of applications, which they did. But many years later they were still in limbo waiting for permanent immigration status. Additionally, because of the delays in their case and the different applications filed, their case had become a complicated puzzle. Also, Fernando and Luz exhausted their resources and could not afford to pay a private attorney to continue their fight for legal status.
Immigrant Legal Services took on the task of solving their puzzle which required specialized knowledge in a number of areas of immigration law. Fernando and Luz are now lawful permanent residents of the United States and their children are waiting on their residence as well.
Helping people like Fernando and Luz and their family is the reason that Immigrant Legal Services exists.
*Names have been changed