DIRECT REPRESENTATION & LEGAL ASSISTANCE
Ten partner organizations of the SFILDC - Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Central American Resource Center, Dolores Street Community Services, Immigration Center for Women and Children, La Raza Centro Legal, La Raza Community Resource Center, Kids in Need of Defense, Legal Services for Children, Pangea Legal Services, and the USF Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic - together represent over 450 adults and children living in San Francisco. The attorneys help these children and families present their cases before the Immigration Court and immigration agencies, and access other critical support services. The initial intake and referral of these cases is centralized through The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF).
The SFILDC also provides ongoing assistance at the Immigration Court to unrepresented respondents. BASF created a specialized Attorney of the Day program to ensure that no child appears before an Immigration Judge and prosecutor without legal assistance. SFILDC attorneys participate regularly along with other local non-profits and members of the private bar. Through this program, we're able to identify San Francisco residents in need and match them with an organization for full-scope representation.
One of the partner agencies, the Immigration Center for Women and Children (ICWC) is also the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians (LOPC) for Unaccompanied Minors provider for the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Immigration Court. The program is funded by the Immigration Court (EOIR). Through LOPC, ICWC is able to reach out to unaccompanied minors and their guardians who are San Francisco residents, flag any potential clients with urgent or emergency issues, and refers them for SFILDC placement.
TRAINING & EDUCATION
- The Bar Association of San Francisco leads and hosts monthly roundtables during which attorneys share case strategies and outcomes, raise challenges encountered in their cases, and educate each other about valuable medical, psychological, and social services available to clients; hosts a list serve for attorneys working on surge docket cases; and provides legal strategy guidance.
- The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies provides cutting-edge training and technical assistance focused on asylum law, including case-specific guidance and in-depth mentoring, sample briefs, and materials to help build the evidentiary record.
- The Immigrant Legal Resource Center provides introductory and advanced trainings on a range of different topics specific to deportation defense and issues on the surge dockets, especially the special remedies available for immigrant children and youth.
PRO BONO MENTORSHIP & SUPPORT
Through our three pro bono leads - Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Kids in Need of Defense, and Legal Services for Children -- we provide mentorship and case support to pro bono attorneys who want to support these children and families. Pro bono attorneys are also able to access the expertise of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Center for Gender and Refugee Studies.
ADVOCACY & OUTREACH
Schools: We work closely with faculty and staff in the San Francisco Unified School District, especially its CAMINOS program, to identify students in need of legal services with representation. We provide trainings as needed to SFUSD educators and parents about the nature of immigration proceedings for youth and the best ways to support students who are facing deportation.
ISAP: Many of our clients are on the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), which involves mandated phone and in-person meetings with supervision officers, stringent curfews and travel restrictions, and electronic ankle monitors. Though this supervision program, considered an “alternative to detention,” is intended to be a more humane option, we are concerned by the arbitrary and inconsistent use of this program, and the threats that ISAP poses to individuals’ physical and psychological wellbeing. With other local partners, we are engaged in advocacy on this issue on behalf of our clients.
We also support and conduct advocacy on other issues of importance to the children and families we serve.