On behalf of the families, youth and community we serve, we at the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) of the Bar Association of San Francisco thank you. Your gift to JDC makes it possible for us to grow access to justice, fairness, and equality in our communities.
Can we count on your support?
In response to the needs of our community’s vulnerable immigrants, JDC has significantly increased its immigration services and become a partner to rapid response networks that connect the services of more than 25 nonprofit organizations, from Bakersfield to the Oregon border.
In honor of International Migrants Day, below we share some recent stories from our immigration programs with you.
How you can help:
- Your gift of $1,000 provides an immigrant detained by ICE with an Attorney of the Day to fight for their due process rights and prevent deportation.
- Your gift of $500 provides transportation for a team of attorneys to visit remote immigration detention facilities and provide screenings and legal assistance to unrepresented individuals.
Expert’s Evaluation Prevents Family Separation
Manuel*, who is married to Gloria, a U.S. citizen, was facing deportation. Gloria was so overwhelmed by anxiety at the prospect of losing her husband, father to her children, and the household’s primary breadwinner, that she had a panic attack when she attempted to testify in her husband’s case.
An attorney with the Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice(NCCIJ) retained a mental health expert to evaluate Gloria’s mental health and submitted a strong report to the court detailing the tremendous detrimental impact his deportation would cause to his wife.
Initially, the Immigration Judge had denied Manuel’s request for cancellation of removal. Thanks to the expert witness report demonstrating that Manuel’s removal would cause severe hardship to his wife’s mental health, the Immigration Judge decided to grant bond, enabling Manuel to reunite with his wife and children.
Rapid Response Attorney Critical to Helping Detainee Understand His Rights
Juan* was arrested at his home by ICE agents. He had a prior deportation order which ICE planned to reinstate, meaning Juan could be processed for deportation and placed on a bus to be deported in a matter of days or even hours without the chance to appear before a Judge or consult an attorney.
His family immediately contacted a Rapid Response hotline for reporting ICE arrests, which passed the information on to a local Rapid Response Network (RRN) and the Northern California Rapid Response and Immigrant Defense Network (NCRRIDN). With coordinating assistance from NCRRIDN, the local RRN activated a rapid response attorney, who immediately deployed to the facility where ICE was processing Juan.
When the attorney arrived, Juan was shocked and did not fully understand his rights, even after ICE staff attempted to explain his rights to him. This is where access to an attorney can make all the difference: After learning that Juan is afraid to return to his country of origin, the attorney advised Juan that he has the right to request a “reasonable fear” interview. A reasonable fear interview may lead to immigration court proceedings to request protection from deportation. The attorney can also represent Juan at the interview to help him communicate his fears clearly.
A Second Chance for Owen’s Family
Owen* came to the U.S. when he was just 1 year old. Now in his thirties, he has three minor U.S. citizen children and a U.S. citizen partner. Not only is he the breadwinner for the family, but one of his sons suffers from neurofibromatosis, a chronic nerve condition.
With the help of the Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice(NCCIJ), he was able to show the Court that he is not a danger to the community despite his past criminal convictions. The Court granted bond, which was posted and Owen was released from custody.
*all names have been changed to protect the safety and confidentiality of clients.