Immigration Defense Fund

The political climate towards immigration has proved more volatile than ever. NSLAC serves as a beacon of hope to our most vulnerable neighbors, and our staff and volunteer attorneys have responded quickly to changes in policy and law.

Fortunately, we live in a community that celebrates diversity and helps neighbors in need. A local donor has authorized a $20,000 challenge grant to create the Immigration Defense Fund.

We are asking you to join our donor in their support.

Our Goal: A Local Donor Has Agreed to Match Donations Dollar for Dollar Up to $20,000

$10,075 Raised

Every dollar donated to the Immigration Defense Fund will be used to provide free legal services to our immigrant neighbors in need. With your help, we are able to be on the front lines as we protect and defend our immigrant neighbors.

NSLAC is the only resource in the northern suburbs that provides legal assistance on asylum and deportation defense cases and the only resource in the northern suburbs that provides pro bono legal help to undocumented immigrants.

Additionally, our Immigration staff:

  • Complete short-term guardianship for minor U.S. citizen children from mixed status families.
  • Works with DREAMERS on the DACA renewal process.
  • Protect immigrants who are domestic violence survivors through the U-Visa and VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act) Self-Petition process, which allows survivors and their families freedom and independence from their abuser.
  • Defend removal and deportation cases.
  • Hold Know Your Rights presentations and clinics where immigrants learn how to stay safe, their constitutional rights, and legal options.
  • Hosts 5 off-site clinics at partner locations that extend the reach of our services.
  • Creates flyers and materials to educate and support the community, including how to recognize a judicial warrant and how to be an ally.

Your support has allowed us to serve over 800 immigrants in our community! Here are some of the clients we have been able to help:

  • Maria* came to NSLAC after her permanent resident application based on her marriage to a U.S. citizen had been denied. Maria and her husband had visited a “notario” who had falsely claimed to be qualified legal professionals who would be able to help with Maria’s application. When Maria and her husband went to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) interview, they learned that the application prepared by the “notario” was missing several key documents. The USCIS officer said that they would mail a notice asking for these necessary documents. Maria never heard from the “notario” about a notice, and based on her failure to submit these documents, Maria soon after received a letter stating that her application was denied. When Maria and her husband first came to NSLAC, our Immigration staff discussed the best options moving forward, and decided to open a new permanent residence application for Maria. Staff submitted Maria’s complete application and accompanied her to her USCIS interview to serve as a translator. Soon thereafter, Maria’s application was approved, and she is now a lawful permanent resident.
  • Jane* had been married to her U.S. citizen husband who had been physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive since the start of their marriage. Jane and her husband both had children from previous relationships who were eyewitnesses to the violence. Both had tried to protect her by intervening when he abused her and calling the police. After a particularly bad assault that took her to the emergency room, Jane decided to file for divorce. Jane came to NSLAC worried about what would happen to her family-based petition once her and her husband got divorced. NSLAC staff met with her and determined that Jane would be eligible under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which allows battered spouses, children, and parents to self-petition for an immigrant visa. This would allow Jane and her child to seek safety and independence from her husband. NSLAC staff is currently working with Jane to file her VAWA application.

*Names have been changed.