Legal Services Programs
LEGAL ORIENTATION PROGRAM (LOP)
Through the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), funded by the Department of Justice/Executive Office of Immigration Review, PIRC educates detainees on immigration law, immigration court procedure and the availability of legal remedies to individuals detained by the Department of Homeland Security who are or may be in immigration removal proceedings. Services provided under the LOP include:
- Group Legal Orientations: PIRC provides group legal orientation presentations several times per week at York County Prison. Interactive, multilingual group orientations take place as soon as possible prior to the detainee's initial hearing before the York Immigration Court.
- Individual Legal Consultations: For unrepresented detainees, PIRC conducts individual legal consultations requested by detainees who desire assistance in understanding their particular legal situation.
- Self-Help Workshops for Detainees: PIRC provides self-help workshops for detainees interested in pursuing relief from removal and offer self-help materials such as asylum or habeas packets, and country conditions research.
- Pro Bono Referrals: Through the LOP, PIRC promotes and facilitates pro bono representation to detainees identified with meritorious cases to PIRC's in-house direct representation programs or outside volunteer attorneys, other legal services nonprofits, and law school clinical programs.
VULNERABLE POPULATIONS IN DETENTION
PIRC provides direct legal representation to vulnerable populations in immigration detention, with special focus on those detained at the York County Prison in York, Pennsylvania, and those detained at the Berks County Family Shelter in Leesport, Pennsylvania:
Detained Survivors of Torture
Through the Detained Torture Survivors Project, funded in part by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) via a grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), PIRC provides direct legal assistance to detained torture survivors appearing before the Immigration Courts and federal courts of appeal in complex cases involving Convention Against Torture, Asylum, Cancellation of Removal, and Withholding of Removal claims. The detention of torture survivors can often retraumatize and have significant psychological impact on an individual.
Individuals with Mental Illness and Physical Disabilities
Under this program, PIRC provides direct legal representation to immigrant detainees who suffer from serious mental or physical illness, who are in removal proceedings and are least able to effectively represent themselves in immigration court.
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA IMMIGRATION PROJECT (CPIP)
PRO BONO PROGRAM
In an attempt to meet the enormous need for legal services for low-income immigrants, PIRC assists in providing pro bono counsel for individuals when direct legal representation by PIRC is not possible. PIRC has developed a relationship with a network of attorneys who provide pro bono counsel for a diverse range of clients seeking assistance with asylum, relief from removal,and lawful status under VAWA, T and U visa programs. For attorneys interested in becoming part of our pro bono network, PIRC offers a variety of training programs for attorneys on an ongoing basis.