external arrow pointing right logo mark logo full version logo in single color arrow pointing down \ facebook logo instagram logo twitter logo flicker logo search icon navigation expand button close

Removal Defense Program

In conjunction with our ILS team, the Removal Defense Program provides high-quality immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees and engages in public education, training, and community outreach to foster migration-positive communities and full participation of all newcomers.

Making help accessible for our immigrant brothers and sisters

Many who are new to this country have very little and are often unable to find and/or afford the kind of legal representation that safeguards and legally protects themselves and their families when detention and deportation become real threats. The availability of those legal services to immigrant families facing separation is rare and can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The Removal Defense Program leverages Catholic Charities of Oregon’s existing Immigration Legal Services (ILS) team to improve our ability to tackle complex immigration court cases—specifically detention and removal defense—for vulnerable families.


Changes in immigration policy enforcement have put many children in Oregon at risk of being separated from their families. Catholic Charities of Oregon has collaborated with statewide partners in education, foster care, and immigration legal services to develop cross-system infrastructure, policies, and procedures to protect children and keep them out of state custody in the event of detention or deportation of a parent.

Check out our volunteer opportunities to help keep children with their families.


Through the Removal Defense Program, Catholic Charities of Oregon offers pro bono removal defense legal services to the portfolio of services our Immigration Legal Services team offers. The Center provides legal protections for immigrants who are unable to afford attorneys and will ensure safeguards for vulnerable mixed-status families when detainment and deportation becomes a real threat. We have one full-time lawyer and one full-time legal assistant dedicated to providing clients with representation; outreach and education; and development, management and coordination of comprehensive pro bono activities.


At Catholic Charities of Oregon, we believe in justice and humane treatment for all humans. We believe in keeping families together. We know that Oregon is home to 391,200 immigrants, 192,000 of whom are children, and 62,000 with at least one undocumented immigrant parent. 49,000 of these children are United States Citizens. The Center for Removal Defense is vital for families in desperate need of their services to keep their family together.


Catholic Charities receives Trillium Community Health Plan grant for refugee health

Posted By | Catholic Charities Communications
Funding is part of a program to support local projects advancing equity in health care Catholic Charities of Oregon has received a Trillium Community Benefit Initiative grant from Trillium Community Health Plan (Trillium). With the grant, Catholic Charities is supporting the health and wellbeing of refugees federal authorities have approved for residency here.

‘It’s freedom, a chance to expand’

Posted By | Catholic Charities Communications
Catholic Charites refugee team partners with local organization that provides free bicycles More than 50 Portland-area refugees served by Catholic Charities of Oregon will be rolling through spring with new or refurbished bicycles, helmets and locks. That’s thanks to a consortium of cycle-minded nonprofits. The volunteers from Reborn Bikes want to share their two-wheeled joy…

Thinker calls for ‘new imagination’ on migration

Posted By | Catholic Charities Communications
One of the world’s foremost religious thinkers on migration will speak in Portland in June. The Rev. Daniel Groody’s latest book, “A Theology of Migration: The Bodies of Refugees and the Body of Christ,” includes a foreword from Pope Francis.


Posted By | Catholic Charities Communications
Federal authorities have approved a number of large refugee families for arrival in Portland this month, and Catholic Charities of Oregon has been asked to help them resettle.