On August 15, 2012, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under this presidential order, certain individuals who arrived to the U.S. as children can obtain a work permit and valid photo I.D.RAICES is currently offering FREE legal services to DACA applicants.
Individuals who have been persecuted or who have a credible fear of persecution and who are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their country of origin can apply for asylum protection from the U.S. government.
Family Reunification and Citizenship
RAICES helps thousands of families each year by filing immigration applications and petitions for U.S. Legal Permanent Residence and U.S. Citizenship. These services help to keep U.S. families intact and increase civic and social participation.
RAICES' largest program provides free legal information, referrals to pro bono attorneys and direct representation to unaccompanied children in the custody of the U.S. Immigration Service. Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), many of these abused, abandoned and/or neglected children qualify for visas.
Detained Survivors of Torture
Many of the individuals detained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are asylum-seekers who have fled persecution and/or torture in their home countries. RAICES visits immigration detention centers in Central and South Texas to provide free legal services and representation to torture survivors.
Adult Victims of Crime
Many immigrant victims of crime do not report their abusers to the police due to fear of affecting their immigration status. Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents who have been abused are protected. RAICES also provides legal representation for victims of violent crimes (U-visa) and human trafficking (T-visa).