Immigrant Justice Program

LAJC’s Immigrant Justice Program works to end mass detention and deportation of immigrants in Virginia and to break the ties between immigration enforcement and local and state government and law enforcement. We work to ensure that immigrant communities remain intact and protected in Virginia, fight the separation of immigrant families and the exclusion of immigrant youth from state benefits like in-state tuition, and protect young immigrants across the Commonwealth whether they are in federal custody or in their communities.

We partner with local community members and community organizations in addition to national advocacy organizations to promote systemic reforms reducing the abuse and exploitation of immigrants, and to advocate for policies that promote integration and protection of immigrant communities.

DETENTION:

  • Legal Aid Justice Center envisions a world in which people are not jailed for seeking protection, where immigrants do not face a second harsher punishment for criminal charges and convictions, and where detention is not a death sentence because of conditions within detention center walls or policies that harm detainees. We use individual representation, impact and class-action litigation, community organizing, and policy advocacy to fight for each person locked behind bars by ICE in Virginia.

IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT & DE-ICE VIRGINIA:

  • Legal Aid Justice Center fights to protect immigrants and their communities by challenging abusive ICE activities, including arrets and improper immigration court practices. We work to ensure that discrimination doesn’t lead to immigration enforcement. We fight to hold ICE accountable to following the law and its own regulations, in addition to defending immigrants placed in removal proceedings.
  • Through our De-ICE Virginia Campaign, Legal Aid Justice Center works to separate local law enforcement efforts from immigration enforcement efforts to better protect the safety of all communities in Virginia. Many local governments, even including many who are otherwise pro-immigrant, go above and beyond to make it easier for ICE to detain and deport immigrants. When local law enforcement engages in federal immigration enforcement, trust between the local community and the local government is damaged. We support communities throughout Virginia in pushing local officials to stop doing ICE’s dirty work for them and instead to focus on serving and protecting all members of their local communities.

IMMIGRANT YOUTH:

  • Legal Aid Justice Center works to ensure that young immigrants can fulfill their bright futures in Virginia. We provide individual representation to young immigrants eligible for immigration relief. We also work to ensure that unaccompanied immigrant children can be quickly released from federal custody so that they can grow up with their families and communities as they pursue their immigration cases. Finally, we work to ensure that undocumented and underdocumented immigrant youth can access benefits to help them achieve their dreams, like working toward in-state tuition and other state benefits and fighting for legal immigration protections.

PROTECTING VULNERABLE IMMIGRANTS:

  • Legal Aid Justice Center provides individual immigration consultations and representation to a limited number of immigrants facing removal from the United States. We also provide Know-Your-Rights presentations and information to immigrant communities. For residents of Alexandria City and Arlington County, we provide free immigration consultations with an immigration attorney.

Legal Aid Justice Center hosts two law student clinics where we represent individual immigrants in their immigration cases and work on litigation on behalf of immigrant clients. We accept a limited number of immigration cases each year depending on clinic capacity.

  • In Arlington, LAJC hosts the Immigration Litigation Clinic for law students at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School. For information about the George Mason Immigration Litigation Clinic, contact Becky Wolozin (becky@justice4all.org).
  • In Charlottesville, LAJC hosts the Immigration Clinic at UVA Law School. For information about the UVA Immigration Clinic, contact Sophia Gregg (sophia@justice4all.org).

Students interested in participating in the law school clinics should apply or enroll through their standard law school enrollment procedures.

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