Legal Services

Founded in 1996, our legal services division works to protect, maintain, and unify individuals and families in need.

Working to Keep Families Together

“It is necessary to respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation, in such a way to make the conditions for migrants more humane.”

– Pope Francis

Who We Are

Legal Services is a nonprofit law program providing low-cost consultations and legal representation to immigrants and refugees throughout Oregon and southwest Washington. We also educate the public, immigrant communities, and the organizations who serve them to promote justice for all newcomers and support conditions for their full participation in American society.

Formally known as Immigration Legal Services (ILS), Legal Services is currently focusing on family reunification and assistance to the most vulnerable immigrants and refugees, including survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

Our Services

  • Family-based applications/visas
  • Permanent residency (Green Card)
  • Naturalization and citizenship
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse (VAWA)
  • Visa for crime victims (U Visa)
  • Survivors of human trafficking (T Visa)
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Asylum
  • Removal Defense
  • Refugee Adjustment of Status/Family Petition
  • Other types of assistance on a case-by-case basis
Three men and four children smiling

Who We Serve

We serve clients of diverse backgrounds with varied needs. Examples include…

  • A mother who has been feeding her children from 3,000 miles away but hasn’t been able to hug them in 10 years
  • A victim of violent crime
  • A refugee reuniting with loved ones left behind
  • A survivor of years of abuse
  • A student who has lived in Oregon since he was 6 months old, only speaks English, and found out he was undocumented after applying for college
  • A young girl escaping trafficking
  • A U.S. citizen who wants to bring his wife or child to the United States
  • An immigrant facing removal issues by ICE without a criminal offense
Two men smiling

Seeking Assistance?

If you or someone you know would like assistance from Legal Services, please call (503) 542-2855. Messages will be returned.

Enrolled clients should contact their representative to make an appointment. Walk-in appointments will not be accepted.


Migration Services Featured in "'A blanket of fear’: How deportations affect children"

Posted By | Staff
A recent article in the Catholic Sentinel discusses the destructive effects of deportations and detentions on children and families. The Catholic Sentinel’s Katie Scott spoke to Pope Francis Center Director Vanessa Briseño, Intercultural Counseling Center Manager Lucrecia Suarez, Immigration Legal Services Director John Herrera, and retired immigration judge Michael Bennett. Read the article on their…

Resources for Those at Risk of Detention or Removal

Posted By | Staff
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) has developed two resources that may be useful in the event of a detention or removal attempt: “Know Your Rights” cards in several languages and the rapid response toolkit. If you need further assistance, please contact our Immigration Legal Defense team at (503) 542-2855 or by emailing

Refugee Resettlement Services Featured in "Oregon may help offset federal cuts to refugee support"

Posted By | Staff
The Catholic Sentinel’s Katie Scott reports on the importance of HB2508 for Catholic Charities and other resettlement agencies as well as for the refugee community in Oregon. Read the full article at the Catholic Sentinel.
Catholic Charities agency staff welcomes refugees at Portland International Airport

The Immigrant Story - Dr. Baher Butti

Posted By | Barb Anderman
Catholic Charities of Oregon employee Dr. Baher Butti’s bloodline of activism runs strong.
Dr. Baher Butti