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 -
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
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.
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.