Residency & Citizenship Services
The path to citizenship in the United States is a long and often torturous road. The list of eligibility requirements is lengthy and the process is complex. Even so, each year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services grants citizenship to roughly 700,000 – 750,000 people. RAICES provides low-cost assistance with residency or citizenship applications.
RAICES provides legal services to asylum-seekers that may be eligible to obtain relief on humanitarian grounds. 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 have a credible fear of persecution and 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.
RAICES serves community members in all of our Texas regions in defending themselves against deportation in Immigration Court. RAICES 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.
RAICES serves DACA as well as TPS recipients, refugees, and people with a variety of other statuses in their legal cases. DACA and other federal programs are complex, require strict adherence to education and/or employment standards, and are cost prohibitive. RAICES helps beneficiaries of DACA and other programs with fee assistance as well as paperwork filings and other legal advice for recipients of these programs.
Legal Representation for Families & Children in Detention
RAICES established the LEAF fund to ensure that children coming to this country can receive quality legal representation both in detention centers and once they are released. In 2018, our specially-trained team provided ongoing legal counsel to 400 children, and more than 4,500 children received training to help them understand their rights here in the United States.
The RAICES Bond Program started in 2014 to cover the release of mothers and children then held in Family Detention Centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. In June 2018, the program grew when a viral Facebook fundraiser inspired more than 500,000 individual donors who were furious at the government ripping families apart and the otherwise inhumane treatment of immigrants in the United States. Since then, we have responded to daily requests from people in detention, and our Bond Program covers people within the geographic scope of the state of Texas.