Legal Services

El Rescate, located in the heart of Los Angeles, is a voice for the voiceless. El Rescate serves those who cannot afford legal aid. If it were not for the services provided by El Rescate, many individuals would remain in a state of ilegal inmigration status. El Rescate offers the community a wide range of services, from filling paperwork to calling government agencies; El Rescate is dedicated to helping those in need. El Rescate's services are available to all individuals irrespective of their gender, sexual preference, religion or ethnic background.

Asylum Program

El Rescate provides representation to individuals seeking asylum in the United States based on past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of political opinon, race, religion, nationality or membeship in a particular social groups. The Asylum Program offers comprehensive training on asylum law to volunteers and pro-bono attorneys so that they may properly assist those seeking assistance. Depending on the procedural aspect of a case, asylum applicants are provided representation in administrative trials before inmigration Judges or on appeal before the Board of Inmigration Appeals. In some cases, representation is provide in non-adversarial proceeding before CIS.

Vawa Program

El Rescate provides legal representation to immigrant men, women and children who have been physically abused or subjected to extreme mental cruelty by a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, spouse or parent. VAWA allows the battered immigrant victim to self-petition the CIS to immigrate herself or himself without the knowledge or cooperation of the abusive spouse or parent. This is significant because normally it is the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent who controls the immigration process. VAWA also permits an abused spouse or child of a United States Citizen or Lawful permanent resident to receive employment authorization and access to health benefits.

Special Cases Needing Legal Representation

Many members of the immigrant community have suffered or are suffering from crises such as domestic violence, critical health problems, and torture and its psychological and physical effects. These individuals need substantial amounts of guidance and assistance so that they can work their way through the maze of legal requirements. Legal representation and advocacy can help these individuals obtain relief under programs such as VAWA, asylum, and/or the Convention Against Torture. Without legal representation these individuals may be forced to continue suffering violence and torture if they are deported from the U.S.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA)

This is a policy that defers removal action of undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States unlawfully by their parents as young children. This could be granted to those individuals who were under the age of 31 as of June 15 ,2012, who arrived to the United States before the age of sixteen, who have been physically present since June 15, 2007 and who have obtain or will obtain a high school diploma/GED. This will allow individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings to obtain work authorization and to avoid deportation for two-years. However, there is no direct path from deferred action to lawful permanent residence or to citizenship.


Every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m El Rescate host a Charla (Spanish for "chat"). During the charlas, El Rescate staff gives a brief overview on current immigration law issues relevant to the need to El Rescate's clients. After the presentation the El Rescate staff and volunteer attorneys offer all individuals attending the charla an opportunity to receive a short legal consultation regarding the specific needs of that individual. The charlas are an important service provided by El Rescate because they offer individuals who work during El Rescate's business hours an opportunity to receive legal assistance at hours that are more convenient to the population.

Other Legal Services

• Family Petition • Adjustment of Status • Appeals for INA • Asylum • Advance Parole • Cancellation of Removal • Change of Address • Change of Venue • Evidence Request Responses • Affidavit of Support • Citizenship • Consultations • Inquiries • FOIA Requests • TPS Re-Registration • NACARA • Motions to Reopen • Fiancé Visa • Waivers • Resident Card Renewal • Work Permit Renewal • VAWA • “U” Visas