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...

Congratulations Joe Biden & Kamala Harris

La Raza Centro Legal celebrates the voices of more than 74 million people in electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States. We are especially thrilled for the Bay Area’s Kamala Harris to make history as the first woman, first Black person and first South Asian-American to earn election as Vice President. For women and people of color everywhere, especially our daughters and granddaughters, this victory will provide a steady source of inspiration, standing on the shoulders of centuries of striving and determination in the face of overwhelming adversity and systemic exclusion. The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris also marks the beginning of an end to a destructive and divisive chapter in U.S. history, one in which the Latinx community has suffered particularly. We look forward to policy changes beginning on day one on immigration, labor, and human rights. We look forward to the new administration ending the senseless cruelty of locking children in cages and to fulfilling its promise to take every step necessary to unite 545 children still separated from their families. President-Elect Biden is also a champion for DACA and pledges to protect undocumented members of armed services, veterans and their spouses from deportation. While our arduous daily work on behalf of the Bay Area Latinx and immigrant communities continues, today brings us all relief, acceptance, and hope. Together, let’s write the next chapter in this work and in our lives. El pueblo, unido, jamás será vencido,Amanda Alvarado FordExecutive...

47th Anniversary Gala

SAVE THE DATE! Dear Friends, Please join us at 6:00 p.m. PST on Friday, September 25, for our 47th annual — and first virtual — gala. In one action-packed hour, you’ll laugh, learn, and listen to stories of resolve and resilience by La Raza clients and staff. REGISTER NOW 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. Please register here. We really look forward to your presence! In solidarity, Amanda Alvarado Ford, Executive Director 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...

Message From the Executive Director, August 13, 2020

Dear Friends, I’m writing today from a community center close to our office, in the Mission District of San Francisco, where a hub of activity is taking place.  This morning, health professionals from UCSF are conducting free COVID tests, and community members are getting referrals to food pantry locations, housing options, unemployment benefits, and access to other basic needs.  I am offering immigration consults at my table and am glad to see several individuals today.  Public health workers, with clipboards and lists of names of people with appointments, dash from outdoor tables to lines of community members who are socially distanced and calmly waiting their turn to be attended to.   Everyone is wearing a mask, socially distancing, and being extremely careful to adhere to public health guidelines issued during the pandemic.  It is inspiring to see essential workers putting themselves in the midst of our community, meeting the need at hand.  People are helping others, and it is uplifting to see and to be a part of.  In a similar way, the legal workers who have been pursuing justice for Jenny Flores for many years are just like these essential workers.  In the early 1980’s, Los Angeles Legal Aid attorney Carlos Holguin was contacted by a well-known actor Ed Asner, who said that one of his employees had a young relative who had arrived at the U.S. border after fleeing her Latin American country of origin.  Then called INS, government  immigration officials detained the young child in a roadside motel with a fence around it in an L.A. area suburb.   When Mr. Holguin investigated, he learned INS had no...