CALA Opens Clinic for Undocumented Immigrants Thursday with IYJL & OCAD

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CALA Opens New Community Activism Clinic for Undocumented Immigrants on November 6, 2014 with Immigrant Youth Justice League and Organized Communities Against Deportation


“This opportunity comes at a time when we are getting more and more cases, and when the number of deportations being carried out by the US government continue to hold steady at an all record high. The sooner we can work on a model that fuses organizing led by the people in  removal proceedings and their families and lawyer support, the better we will be prepared for the continuing deportations that threaten our communities every day. This is an exciting opportunity for us and we know we can refine a model of collaboration between us, [CALA], and other community partners that revolutionizes the way undocumented communities, people in deportation proceedings, community organizations, and lawyers work together to create real tangible change in the present lives of families and in the future ways in which undocumented immigrants/ people in removal proceedings relate to the laws that hurt us.”

 -Organized Communities Against Deportation Coordinators


The Community Activism Law Alliance is pleased to announce that our second community activism law clinic will open on November 6, 2014 in partnership with the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) and the Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD). The “community activism law clinic” will provide legal services to undocumented immigrants and support the activism work of IYJL and OCAD. Through the activism law clinic, CALA, IYJL, and OCAD will add legal representation in removal proceedings to the extensive, different organizing strategies that IYJL and OCAD have successfully used to stop deportations of immigrant families in Chicago and nearby suburbs.

CALA’s legal services will enhance our partners’ campaigns, in a manner that is collaborative and compatible to their unique, powerful community-driven responses to the record-high number of deportations in the past few years. The community activism law clinic will intake new cases from IYJL and OCAD at least twice a month on Thursday evenings, with additional discretionary intake appointments during the month. The clinic will be jointly staffed by CALA attorneys and IYJL/OCAD members; and CALA, IYJL, and OCAD will combine their resources and expertise to address our clients’ cases through multiple approaches. Through this unique activist-lawyer partnership model, we believe that we can maximize our clients’ likelihood of success, while empowering immigrant families and communities to participate in the larger struggle for immigration reform.   

The Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) is a Chicago-based organization led by undocumented organizers working towards full recognition of the rights and contributions of all immigrants through education, leadership development, policy advocacy, resource gathering, and mobilization. IYJL was founded in 2009 by a group of undocumented students who came together to stop the deportation of the organization’s co-founder. During the campaign, the group of mostly undocumented immigrant youth realized that there was no organization in the Chicagoland area seeking to advance the rights of undocumented people, where undocumented people were at the forefront. As part of the campaign, undocumented organizers began to disclose their status publicly and sharing their story, saying that any one of them could be placed in deportation, and that there needed to be a group that fought against the deportation of any member of the community. This is how IYJL members began to “come out,” take risks, and strategize on how to use their stories to influence the immigration debate. For more info, visit:

Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) seeks to stop deportations in immigrant communities through mobilization, advocacy and education. Since December 2012, OCAD has led public campaigns to stop deportations in the state of Illinois and has helped families to fight deportations of loved ones by connecting them to the proper legal venues and information that can make the difference between staying in this country or getting deported. OCAD is part of a larger network across Illinois and collaborate with country-wide organizations like the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Its founding members also come from the experience of organizing against deportations particularly around people that potentially qualify for the DREAM Act (Development Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act). OCAD works with people of all ages.  Learn about OCAD at:

For further information about the IYJL/OCAD Community Activism Law Clinic, please contact us at or 312-999-0056.