Embracing the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger, we promote the dignity and protect the rights of immigrants in partnership with a dedicated network of Catholic and community legal immigration programs. Attorneys represent detainees/asylum seekers.
Johny Figueroa's mother left him when he was a small child. She moved fromHonduras to Los Angeles, where she died giving birth to Johny's sister. He never knew his father. Growing up in abject poverty which deepened as heturned 16, Johny set out for Los Angeles to find his sister, visit hismother's grave, and obtain an education. After a harrowing two-monthjourney, riding freight trains and sleeping under bushes, and being robbedand beaten up by gang members, Johny finally reached the U.S. border. He was promptly arrested and turned over to immigration authorities, who locked him up in a correctional facility for juvenile delinquents. Johny spent twomonths in detention, often shackled, frightened and vulnerable to abuse byprison inmates, while CLINIC attorneys worked to free him and reunite himwith his family. Johny's story has a happy ending, thanks to a CLINICdetention attorney--his status was adjusted and he is now with his family,going to school and looking forward to becoming a citizen. Many other youngboys and girls, victims of extreme poverty, abuse, gang violence and war,languish in juvenile detention centers. CLINIC is often the onlyorganization that can help provide lawyers to represent these children incomplex immigration proceedings.