IIBA is a non-profit organization that provides high-quality low-cost legal immigration services to community members who need them most. This past year we helped nearly 10,000 individuals and their families with applications for citizenship, work authorization, adjustment of status, as well as with a host of other services.
Generous donations from individuals, in addition to grants from private foundations and government agencies, allow IIBA to provide assistance for free or on a sliding-fee-scale based on income to many who might not otherwise be able to afford the services they need.
The act of becoming a United States citizen (called naturalization) is the final step in the immigration process and a significant part of IIBA’s work. IIBA staff assist individuals with every step of the naturalization application: from determining whether a person is eligible for citizenship, to completing the necessary forms and preparing for the required interview.
For many, the greatest barrier to becoming a U.S. citizen is the English and civics test component of the naturalization[?]Definition
Naturalization is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country.
Wikipedia application. IIBA currently offers free citizenship classes in Redwood City, San Francisco, and Napa. The twelve-week long courses are English as a Second Language (ESL) classes that emphasize speaking and cover United States government, history, and civics, all topics tested during the naturalization interview.
United States Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents have the right to apply for certain family members to join them in the United States. For those without immigration law expertise, completing the necessary paperwork is difficult. IIBA’s legal staff has years of experience helping families reunite with their loved ones.
Protecting Undocumented Victims
of Violent Crime
Many undocumented immigrants who have been the victim of violent crimes are afraid to seek help from law enforcement because of their lack of legal status. Consequently, perpetrators have been able to escape justice, and victims have suffered in silence. In October of 2000, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act[?]Definition
The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act is intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes while, at the same time, offer protection to victims of such crimes.
Wikipedia was passed to remedy this problem. Certain victims who cooperate with law enforcement may now be eligible for a type of immigration relief, commonly referred to as a U Visa.
IIBA has played an important role in helping domestic violence survivors and other immigrant crime victims obtain U Visas. As Eric Cohen from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center explained: “In the past several years, IIBA's Oakland office has become a leader in the provision of high quality immigration services to low income domestic violence survivors. They have trained hundreds of service providers and law enforcement and developed an outstanding legal internship program.” Annually, IIBA assists over 400 applicants file for U Visas.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that immigrants who came to the United States as children and who met certain requirements may be eligible for protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While DACA is not a pathway to citizenship, it does provide certain protections to qualifying immigrant youths. These protections include relative safety from deportation for 2 years (subject to renewal), employment authorization, and the ability to apply for a Social Security Card as well as a California driver’s license or ID card.
IIBA is the lead agency for a ten county collaborative dedicated to ensuring that eligible individuals receive the assistance needed to successfully apply for DACA. Since its implementation in the summer of 2012, IIBA has helped over 400 immigrant youth apply for protection under DACA.
Through education and outreach activities, IIBA empowers local immigrant communities with the information they need to improve conditions for their families and to strengthen local leadership.
IIBA staff offers presentations to community members, advocates and volunteers on a variety of topics, including: naturalization, immigration relief for domestic violence survivors and crime victims, immigration law and the undocumented, voter education and civic participation, and public policy initiatives affecting immigrant families.
The best way to learn about our work is through the voices of those we have helped. Click below to read stories from some of IIBA's clients.