Despite the challenges presented by an anti-immigrant presidential administration and a year-long global pandemic, our Immigration Legal Services and Assistance (ILSA) program has truly blossomed over the past three years. We have evolved from monthly legal clinics staffed by volunteer attorneys to Department of Justice (DOJ) accredited staff providing direct immigration legal services; a robust Pathway to Citizenship program; and capacity building initiatives to resource organizations across Champaign County.
The ILSA team hosted four in-person legal clinics this month to help community members apply for citizenship and DACA. Through the New Americans Initiative, our hardworking team of staff and interns assisted a total of 25 clients.
These were some of the first few clinics staffed by the new ILSA Legal Resource Coordinator, Erika Vergara! Erika recently relocated to Champaign-Urbana from New Haven, Connecticut, where she lived for 7 years and was a DOJ-accredited representative for a local non-profit. Of her new role, she said:
“I am excited to be joining such a dynamic, collaborative, and passionate group as ILSA. The work that ILSA does is so important for the immigrant community. I am in awe of all the work ILSA has been able to accomplish during the pandemic.”
NEED LEGAL ASSISTANCE? Call our helpline for more information about the legal resources available at NAWC and in Champaign County at-large: 217-417-5897 (español-français-中文). Our team is unable to take on new clients until mid-July 2021, but you can ask to be placed on the wait-list for assistance.