Enlace partners with the Beyond Legal Aid to coordinate the free Legal Clinic. The clinic provides free services that range from advice and community-based legal education to extended assistance and full representation. Attorneys assist residents in the areas of immigration, family, employment/labor, housing, criminal records, public benefits and consumer issues. Since its launch in 2013, the Legal Clinic has been overwhelmed with clients, a testament to the high level of need for these kinds of services. Beyond Legal Aid uses an innovative model – community activism lawyering – to support those overlooked or turned away by other organizations, as well as to support and strengthen their community-based organization partners.
For more information about the Legal Clinic, click here.
To visit Beyond Legal Aid's website, click here.
Enlace provides immigration-related educational workshops and assistance with immigration application processes. This initiative adapts to the changing needs of the community, and topics have included Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), adjustment of status, citizenship, the U-Visa, power of attorney and know your rights. Immigration team members work closely with local institutions in order to provide these workshops and services, and to support them in acting as “sanctuary spaces” for immigrant community members.
Immigration policy touches the lives of almost every resident of Little Village. Most Enlace organizing efforts wrap themselves around issues of immigration policy, as access to all levels of education, healthcare coverage and other vital resources hinge on documentation status. Enlace organizers and leaders continue to adapt and respond to the increasingly dangerous climate that has been created around immigration policy and enforcement by increasing relevant education and support for community members, and supporting local partners in coordinating efforts. Beyond Legal Aid focuses on supporting their activism and organizing campaigns through their clinics, and has been an important partner in this work. In addition to coordinating efforts on a local level, Enlace is also a member of broader coalitions that push for fair immigration reform, such as the Chicago Immigration Working Group and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
For more information about the Enlace Leadership Academy, click here.