For many people facing removal (deportation) proceedings, the stakes are high: they may have lived in the United States for a long time, they may have legal status or a valid defense, they may be fleeing persecution in their home country, and they may have family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. At the same time, those who cannot afford to hire an attorney must either represent themselves or attempt to find free legal services to help them navigate complex immigration laws. ICH offers four levels of service to address the needs of immigrants in removal proceedings:

  • Individual information sessions: one-on-one meetings, usually held on a walk-in basis or by appointment during specified hours. In these meetings, respondents can ask ICH staff detailed questions about immigration law and what to expect as they pursue their cases before the court.
  • Self-help workshops: small workshops for immigrants who will be representing themselves in court. In these workshops, immigrants can prepare and practice with others who will be pursuing similar defenses against removal.
  • Pro bono outreach: conducted for indigent respondents whose cases could especially benefit from the assistance of legal representation.
  • Group information sessions: in-person presentations at the immigration court that offer a broad overview of the immigration legal process and basic information on defenses against removal.

The program also maintains a legal resources library to assist ICH staff. Resources are available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Bengali, Chinese, French, and Somali.

ICH is provided in the following courts: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and San Antonio.