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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 social teaching: option for the poor and vulnerable

Posted By | Catholic Charities Communications
The Catholic Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amid the challenges of modern society. Here is number four of the seven principles of the tradition.

Urgent need for temporary housing for refugees

Posted By | Catholic Charities Communications
Appeal goes out to Oregon property owners One of Oregon’s leading refugee resettlement organizations is asking local property owners to consider offering spare rooms, available rental units, and homes for temporary housing. Those with space to offer, please contact our housing coordinator, Jesse Crawford at Jcrawford@ccoregon.org or call 503-805-3563.

Help needed to fund refugee medical exams

Posted By | Catholic Charities Communications
When you support Catholic Charities of Oregon, you may be surprised at everything that gets covered. For example, now that public funding has ended for a pilot program that paid for mandatory refugee medical exams, Catholic Charities is hoping to revive the flow of aid with donor assistance.

Salem refugee effort traces its ancestry to Catholic Charities 

Posted By | Barbara Curtin Miles
Salem for Refugees is a nonprofit organization located in Salem, Oregon that helps provide support and resources for refugees in the area.