The Immigration Project is a nonprofit organization that provides high quality immigration legal services in Central and Southern Illinois. We are the principal provider of non-profit immigration legal services in our service area which encompasses 86 counties. We are staffed by experienced immigration attorneys and excellent support professionals. We recognize that access to accurate, complete information regarding immigration law is geographically and economically restricted for underserved, immigrant populations in downstate Illinois. The Immigration Project endeavors to provide access to justice for immigrants and their families through immigration-related legal and educational services to immigrants, refugees, their families, and others in downstate Illinois, in a manner and context which recognizes the full dignity of each individual.
Given the geographical barriers that many immigrants face in rural areas to seek immigration legal advice, our office takes a rural-regional approach to serving our friends and neighbors. To bridge the geographic gap, we conduct regional clinics in communities such as Kankakee, Peoria, Springfield, and Carbondale where higher concentrations of immigrants reside; we also have regular presence in our Champaign-Urbana and Bloomington-Normal offices. This makes travel our largest single program expense. But face-to-face contact with clients improves everyone’s access to accurate information and nurtures confidence and trust. We also use video-conferencing technology extensively, both to expand our accessibility to communities with smaller concentrations of immigrants and for the detailed interviews required to prepare individual applications.
Without our programs, many low-income immigrants in down-state Illinois would struggle to obtain access to professional immigration assistance. Due to the complexity of immigration law, we have found that access to quality legal services is essential to keeping families united, building strong communities, and protecting victims of crime. We believe that immigrants are members of our community, and that helping all members of a community strengthens it as a whole.
Fellows and/or interns will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities central to the practice of immigration law. These responsibilities may include:
- Co-counseling Immigration Cases with licensed advocates in our office including preparing federal litigation involving cases pending for more than a year
- Legal issue-spotting
- Writing legal briefs and memos
- Statement development, interview preparation, form assistance, and other tasks related to preparing client applications
- Assisting attorneys with legal clinics and client appointments
- Assistance in Developing and researching ways to expand our services to help those seeking admission at a U.S. border
If you are interested in an opportunity with The Immigration Project, please apply through the guidelines set out by the program in which you are applying. If you are not applying through a fellowship, please see our website for additional opportunities to assist our neighbors.
Immigration Project is approved to host Graduate Fellows.