Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law
Welcome to the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law. The Center is a non-profit, public interest legal foundation dedicated to furthering and protecting the civil, constitutional, and human rights of immigrants, refugees, children, prisoners, and the poor.
Since its incorporation in 1980, under the leadership of a board of directors comprising civil rights attorneys, community advocates and religious leaders, the Center has provided a wide range of legal services to vulnerable low-income victims of human and civil rights violations and technical support and training to hundreds of legal aid attorneys and paralegals in the areas of immigration law, constitutional law, and complex and class action litigation.
The Center has achieved major victories in numerous major cases in the courts of the United States and before international bodies that have directly benefited hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged persons.
Bienvenido a la página del Centro por Derechos Humanos y Ley Constitucional. El Centro es una organización no-lucrativa que se dedica para el bienestar público y para promover y proteger los derechos civiles, constitucionales, y humanos de inmigrantes, refugiados, menores de edad, y los pobres.
Les damos la bienvenida a estudiantes, abogados, u otros voluntarios disponibles a unirse con los esfuerzos del Centro a proteger y promover derechos humanos y civiles en el ámbito nacional e internacional.
The concession came as part of settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law on behalf of several community groups, including Somos America/We Are America Coalition and the League of United Latin American Citizens. The lawsuit challenged Maricopa County's conspiracy prosecutions in which prosecutors coerced thousands of non-smuggler migrants into pleading guilty to criminal offenses that preclude them from legalizing their status as residents of the United States. Maricopa County relied upon a 2005 state "anti-coyote" law that declared it a state crime to transport unauthorized entrants for gain in Arizona. Maricopa County, alone among Arizona's 15 counties, misused the law to arrest and prosecute non-smuggler migrants on the pretext they had conspired to smuggle themselves.
In April 2011, CIS declared that applicants must be both under 21 and the subjects of valid state court dependency orders at the time they apply for SIJ benefits. However, for the next two and one-half years the agency granted SIJ benefits to applicants who were no longer dependents so long as they were under 21 at the time they applied. In late summer 2013, the agency suddenly and without notice began denying SIJ benefits to applicants whose dependency orders had lapsed prior to their filing Forms I-360 and even revoking SIJ petitions it had previously approved on the same grounds.
April 25, 2014 - The Center distributed a letter to Senator Hancock and the members and staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee expressing concerns about proposed S.B. 892, which seeks to reform California's solitary confinement practices. Foremost, we expressed concern about the bill’s perpetuation of CDCR’s gang validation policy. Prominent organizations, advocates, and individuals signed on to the letter, including labor leaders Maria Elena Durazo and Mike Garcia, and influential groups such as League of United Latin American Citizens and Council on American-Islamic Relations. The letter may be downloaded here. Please contact us to sign on to our letter in support of our recommendations to CA legislators.
Nine significant elements of the Senate Bill's Legalization Proposal that must be changed to have an effective program that does not potentially exclude millions of low-income immigrants living in the U.S. Click here to download report.
The Center is a 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 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.
Read about our legal support services here.
The Casa Kauai's mission is to provide a relaxed atmosphere and high quality space in a peaceful and natural environment far from the daily stress of one's usual work for the creation, discussion, and development of projects and programs related to the protection and promotion of social justice, including human rights, economic rights, environmental protection, and cultural preservation.
We also intend that the retreat center be
available for use by individuals who are making
a significant contribution to the cause of
social justice through their activities and who
would like to spend time in a peaceful setting
to rest and recuperate from their work.
Click here to learn more about
reserving Casa Kauai.
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Solitary Confinement in CA Prisons
Immigrant Family and the Defense of Marriage Act
Casa Libre: shelter for homeless unaccompanied immigrant children
Voces Unidas: a bi-lingual nationwide resource database for abused women and children and their advocates
The Legalization Site
Unaccompanied Minors Project