Residency & Citizenship Services
If you are looking for assistance with your residency or citizenship application please come to one of our offices, during our walk-in hours, where for a low-cost, $45 consultation, a lawyer can meet with you. During your consultation, you will meet with one of our attorneys and see if you are eligible for our services.
RAICES provides legal services to asylum-seekers that may be eligible to obtain relief under several humanitarian bases. The primary claim for asylum could be on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. 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.
Adult Victims of Crime
RAICES assists the immigrant victims of crime by representing their immigration legal rights and assisting with protection orders. Since many immigrant victims of crime do not report their abusers to the police due to fear of affecting their immigration status, we typically identify victims of domestic violence only after they seek help with immigration legal issues.
RAICES serves community members in all of our Texas regions in defending themselves against deportation in Immigration Court. Our attorneys represent people in detention who are seeking release through bond, and we handle a full range of defenses both for people in detention and those who are fighting their court cases following release. To request help in defending a case in Immigration Court, you or your family can call the RAICES office nearest to you, or if your home is in San Antonio, please call our Immigration Detention Hotline at (800) 409-2893.
Each RAICES office handles DACA renewals, and our attorneys advise DACA recipients on all aspects of their immigration cases. Our offices also serve TPS recipients, refugees, and people with a variety of other statuses in their legal cases.
RAICES’ largest program provides free legal information, referrals and direct representation for unaccompanied children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Given our proximity to the U.S. Mexico border, our Children’s Program provides services to thousands of children each year.
The Karnes Pro Bono Project was launched in 2014 by a group of attorneys committed to serving the legal needs of women and children in family detention. The project has since come under the direction of RAICES, providing free legal services to detainees in the Karnes Detention Center. The detained women and children are forced to pass a credible or reasonable fear interview before they can be released to pursue asylum. The failure to meet requirements for asylum can lead to deportation, which can mean a return to danger and even death.
RAICES helps women prepare for their interviews with asylum officers and their applications for asylum, and represents them in immigration court. Since January of 2017, RAICES staff and pro-bonos provided representation to 90% of women at the Karnes Family Detention Center.
Through our newly launched Family Reunification Program RAICES is working with the Texas Civil Rights Project to identify the families being separated at the border. TCRP has been tracking prosecutions of people at the McAllen, TX court and then sharing individuals identified as separated from their children. Since June 1, 2018, we have received the names of 184 people separated from their children at the McAllen court alone. Separately from this work, RAICES has also been identifying the parents of children we see in our children’s program who have been separated from their parents since January 2017. We currently have close to 200 families on that list, but the vast majority have been separated from their parents more recently. We expect these numbers to climb rapidly.
Does your organization want to learn more about immigration? Would you like to receive a Know Your Rights presentation? Contact us today to see if we are able to offer a free session for your community.
Accompaniment is a method through which allied individuals, organizations, and congregations provide solidarity to individuals facing deportation or contact with immigration officials for which they would like support. The process supported by RAICES and local sanctuary networks staff, the congregation and family build mutual, long-term relationships to stop the deportation, serve as a witness in spaces of injustice, and collectively grow as community leaders in the fight for immigrant rights. Volunteers are trained to provide accompaniment to ICE Check-Ins, Court Dates, to pay bonds, and future trainings are planned for checkpoint accompaniment.
RAICES is a newly designated refugee resettlement agency, welcoming and supporting refugees and their families from all over the world as they make their home in San Antonio. Under the guidance of Einas Albadri, the RAICES Refugee Resettlement program has welcomed over 300 individuals to San Antonio during our first year of operation. RAICES administers short-term Refugee Cash Assistance and Match Grant benefits that are available for eligible individuals that include Refugees, Asylees, Certified Victims of severe forms of trafficking, Cuban and Haitian entrants, Certain Amerasians, and Special Immigrant Visa holders from Iraq & Afghanistan. Requirements and enrollment deadlines apply. We are always looking for community members interested in providing welcome and assistance to families as they adjust to new homes, new lives, new schools, and jobs in our community.
To fill out an application to the RAICES Texas Bond Fund, please visit this Bond Fund Assistance Request Form.
Without the generous support of volunteers in our communities and those who travel to Texas to volunteer, none of our work would be possible! Join a team of over 300 active volunteers who work with our clients providing direct and indirect support. If you want to get involved, we have a place for you!