Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law
The Center is a state-wide legal services support center with recognized expertise in complex litigation and the substantive law relating to immigrants and refugees. A partial list of the Center's major litigation includes the following cases: Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982) (lead counsel for state-wide class of undocumented children denied access to public elementary education because of their immigration status); Reno v. Catholic Social Services, 509 U.S. 43 (1993) (national class action on behalf of persons unlawfully denied legalization under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986); Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292 (1993) (national class action on behalf of children denied release on bail pending the outcome of deportation proceedings); League of United Latin American Citizens v. Wilson, 131 F.3d 1297 (9th Cir. 1997) (state-wide class action challenging constitutionality of state proposition denying health care, social services and education to suspected undocumented immigrants); and Orantes-Hernandez v. Smith, 541 F.Supp. 351 (C.D. Cal. 1982) (national class of Salvadoran nationals seeking political asylum in the United States).
Our work currently focuses on the following: 1. Federal litigation in support of abused, abandoned, and neglected immigrant and refugee children eligible to legalize status as Special Immigrant Juveniles. 2. Enforcing the rights of children detained pending deportation or removal to appropriate placement and services. 3. Federal litigation involving efforts by state and local governments to enforce federal immigration laws. 4. Litigation, legislative advocacy and policy analysis to address the rights of immigrants to state driver’s licenses. 5. Protecting the rights of immigrant survivors of crime, human trafficking, and domestic violence. We also work in other areas of law and policy identified as priorities by IOLTA-recipients. CHRCL welcomes the input of Trust Fund programs into its priority setting process.
CHRCL is committed to
providing technical assistance to IOLTA-funded and
other legal legal services programs. Please contact
Peter Schey and Carlos Holguin to seek assistance on
complex or unusual immigration, naturalization,
political asylum, or constitutional law cases. We also
provide general assistance on federal practice and
procedure in class action cases.
Technical assistance is provided in a variety of ways depending on our resources and the needs of the local program and/or the client(s), including -
This manual is intended to convey to legal services and pro bono attorneys the basic information necessary to present constitutional claims on behalf of low-income clients and to encourage attorneys to explore whether constitutional claims may exist in a case, and, if so, how best to present them before administrative agencies or the courts.
This training manual is intended as a tool for immigration attorneys, BIA-accredited representatives, and other advocates interested or already engaged in the representation of minors in removal proceedings. This, like all other training materials prepared by the CHRCL are non-exhaustive and subject to continuous update to reflect the rapidly changing context of immigration law and policy in which we work and live.
This practice briefing is intended as a tool for immigration attorneys, BIA-accredited representatives, and other advocates for the rights of immigrant children to better understand the evolving landscape with regards to key legal issues. They cover recent developments in cutting-edge litigation initiated and led by the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) as well as updates from the various adjudicatory bodies involved in defining the relevant legal standards.
This manual details the essential elements and framework of building and defending a successful asylum claim in immigration court.
The focus of this practice briefing is on how advance parole can be used by many immigrants who have approved visa petitions or pending visa petitions to briefly travel abroad and return "with inspection" and become eligible for adjustment of status in the future.
The focus of this practice briefing is on how many immigrants who lack lawful status in the United States can use deferred action status in order to secure a minimum level of protection from deportation, in that they are law priority for removal, and authorization to work lawfully in the country.
This manual focuses on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and refugee and asylum.
2013 LGBT Legal Services Providers Handbook
The purpose of this manual is to provide lawyers and
paralegals with low-income LGBT clients with
immigration-related issues a guide to the rights of
their clients under the Immigration and Nationality
Act (INA), and agency regulations and policies.
The purpose of this manual is to assist attorneys and legal service advocates to answer questions about what DACA means, who is eligible, and what eligible individuals can do next.
Children's Rights Manual
The purpose of this manual is to inform legal service advocates about the rights of children under immigration law, public benefits available to immigrant children, prosecutorial discretion, and what can happen if a child's parents are removed.
Constitutional Law Manual (Updated 2014)
Due Process and Equal protection for Legal Services and Pro Bono Attorney.
International Human Rights Manual (Updated 2014)
The purpose of this manual is to inform legal service advocates about the fundamentals of international human rights.
Class Action Litigation Outline, November 2011
These materials outline the general principles of class action litigation including standing, justiciability, class certification, jurisdiction and venue.
CHRCL is available to conduct training in California
for legal services and community-based organizations
in the areas of federal litigation, immigration and
refugee law, and constitutional law. We will travel to
your area to conduct training programs. Please write
or telephone Carlos Holguin, (213)
388-8693, ext. 309, with training requests.
Income Assistance Guidelines
Persons meeting the following income guidelines are eligible for free legal assistance from the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law Foundation:
For family units with more than eight members, add $3,820 for each additional member in a family.
Client Grievance Procedure
Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law's
Client Grievance Procedure.
For the client grievance procedure in Spanish, click here.