LRCL Statement on January 6 Insurrection at the Capitol

La Raza Centro Legal stands against acts of violence and actions which harm others or which result in the loss of human life. The events of January 6 at our nation’s Capitol left us feeling a sense of tremendous shock and absolute grief, at both the incitement of violence and the subsequent acts of mayhem that resulted in five lives lost. We cannot remain silent upon viewing the loss of lives and the terrorist acts which occurred. We condemn the words and actions of our nation’s president and advisors who, just prior to last week’s lawlessness, incited a mob to act violently. We also denounce the individuals who committed the crimes immediately following as a direct result of the call to arms. While the country needs to better understand the motivations of the mob that invaded the Capitol, the evidence of racism and hatred of immigrants is heartbreaking. We mourn for the lives lost. Our hearts are heavy for the trauma suffered by those present that day at the Capitol, and we hope for a healing of their minds and souls. The United States, with the Capitol as its symbol, has been a beacon of human rights and democracy throughout the world. With the Capitol transformed into a scene of mob violence intended to intimidate legislators, it is easy to feel adrift. We face many challenges as we navigate through a lengthy pandemic and long delays for access to vaccines for even our most vulnerable community members. However, on the same day as the tragedy last week, our elected officials in Congress resumed their duties and conducted the final...

La Raza Centro Legal Attorneys Recognized in 2020 as Leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area Legal Community

At La Raza Centro Legal, our attorneys are legal experts in their fields who frequently present to the legal community, partner agencies,  law students and undergraduate students, and to the clients we serve.  We take pride in our passionate advocacy on behalf of our clients’ civil and human rights.   The expertise our lawyers have acquired while representing clients, have led them to be recognized in northern California as attorney trainers.  They have led Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses, as well as other types of presentations, in a variety of forums.  Here is a brief review of our attorneys’ recent CLEs, honors, and professional leadership posts:  On October 6, Workers Rights Program attorney Alejandra Cuestas-Jaimes, presented to workers, in conjunction with Excelsior Works, PODER, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and Communities United for Health and Justice, in several Facebook Live Events, on the topic of Workers’ Rights in California.    In September, Immigration Attorney Pilar Eslava and Executive Director Amanda Alvarado Ford presented to an honor sorority of pre-law students at University of San Francisco (USF), in a Virtual Conversation with Immigration Attorneys  On 10/26, Removal Defense immigration attorney Marcos Pacheco presented as part of a USF Student Immigration Law Association Panel on the topic, “Working in Immigration during COVID 19”.  It was moderated by USF Professor Heidi Ho and attorney panelists included SF Public Defender attorney Carla Gomez and Purves & Bogue LLP attorney Dorothy Ma.    On November 18, Marcos Pacheco presented a CLE as part of a panel presentation, through PLI with other expert attorneys, on the topic: Updates to Representing Unaccompanied Children in California.    On October 29, agency director Amanda Alvarado Ford presented to Latinx Studies Professor Michael De Anda Muniz, Ph.D.’s  undergraduate SFSU Latinx Studies course entitled Organizing, Civil Rights, Social Justice, and Community Organizations, and provided...

Message from the Executive Director | November 24, 2020

Note For Readers: During the COVID-19 pandemic, La Raza Centro Legal has made key changes to our methods of legal services delivery, to address our clients’ evolving needs. We are open to the public every Tuesday. Each legal department is in office one full day per week, to serve our community in person. The remaining 4 days of the week, we work remotely. One of our supervising attorneys provides immigration in-person consults every Thursday for 4-6 hours at the Alabama Street Latino Task Force Hub in San Francisco’s Mission District. We are the only Bay Area legal aid agency currently offering in-person weekly consults and we are pleased to serve the community during this challenging time.       Some weeks have a theme that arises naturally through the course of the days.  This week, the idea that kept recurring is resiliency.  I’ve been inspired by photos in the San Francisco Chronicle of families in Santa Rosa who are rebuilding their homes after they perished in the 2017 Tubbs fire.  In addition, I’ve seen photos of children in the Bay Area who are taking music and dance classes in the arts, as part of social pods with their peers.  These pictures have brought me joy. Seeing children taking group drum lessons and dancing with friends was a relief to see.  I know I’m not alone in worrying about the pandemic’s effect on children.  Seeing them having fun made me feel as though children will focus on enjoying life, regardless of the obstacles presented before them.   One of the best examples that I have seen of resiliency is embodied in one of our...

Message From the Executive Director, June 18th, 2020

Dear Friends, La Raza Centro Legal applauds today’s U.S. Supreme Court Decision written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., upholding the validity of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. According to the Supreme Court’s reasoning, the Trump administration, in its efforts to end the DACA program, did not follow the proper procedures required by law and failed to properly weigh how ending the program would affect those who had come to rely on its protections against deportation.  We at La Raza Centro Legal are proud of our clients who are DACA recipients.  Our immigration legal team has represented San Francisco Bay Area clients in their initial DACA filings and subsequent renewals since the program began in 2012.  From that date up through the present, our law office has represented, at no cost, many hundreds of DACA recipients in their DACA cases and in many other types of immigration applications.  We take this moment today to celebrate the achievements of all DACA recipients.  Since 2012, we have seen first hand our DACA clients’ accomplishments in higher education; entrepreneurship in start-ups in Silicon Valley and beyond that have created countless jobs; and leadership in the private sector, government and non-profit organizations.  DACA recipients are intelligent young people who are dedicated  students, professionals, skilled craftspeople, union workers, private sector leaders, government and community-based organization collaborators.  This talented group of young adults is the foundation upon which our nation’s future will be forged, and we take a moment today to celebrate them, their achievements, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling today.  On behalf of La Raza Centro Legal, your community...

47th Anniversary Gala

SAVE THE DATE! Our 47th annual – and first virtual – gala will take place on Friday, September 25 at 6:00 PM. Admission is 100% free and unlimited. In one action-packed hour, you’ll laugh, learn, and listen to stories of resolve and resilience by clients and staff. As our biggest fundraising event every year, the gala sustains our life-changing work for months on end. This year we hope you and all our friends and supporters can simply share what you can in this vastly changed economy. To sponsor our 47th Anniversary Gala at any level, please contact our Executive Director, Amanda Alvarado Ford, at amanda@lrcl.org. Thank you! You can also make a direct donation by clicking the Donate Now button. Thank you to our generous sponsors for making our gala possible, and enabling La Raza to empower our community. Stewards of Justice Warriors of Justice  Torchbearers of Justice Guardians of...