Immigration Legal Services in California: A Time for Bold Action

Publication date: 
February 2020

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) holds a commitment to the inherent value of every human being and a vision of the United States that offers hope and opportunity for all. In this affirmative vision, immigration legal services are a vital component of a larger ecosystem of long-term strategies to protect immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and advance equity and inclusion.

Recognizing the intensifying legal service needs of immigrant communities and legal service providers, GCIR and the California Immigrant Integration Initiative (CIII) launched a study to understand the capacity of immigration legal services in California and generate recommendations for strategic philanthropic investment. This report was commissioned with support from San Francisco Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, California Community Foundation, The Grove Foundation, James and Gretchen Sandler Philanthropic Fund, van Löben Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Y & H Soda Foundation, and Marin Community Foundation.

This report offers recommendations to strengthen immigration legal services in California for immigrants and asylum seekers. The report draws from 20 interviews with executive-level staff from legal service organizations and 80 responses to an online survey of a broad range of immigration legal service providers across the state.