Legal Help for Immigrants Available at New Office in Racine

Sept. 13, 2023 1:40p

(WGTD)---The Racine Interfaith Coalition’s Immigration Legal Services Initiative celebrated its launch with an open house Tuesday night. 

The new office is located at 2302 Dekoven Ave., and is open for business on the first and third Saturdays of the month from ten until two.

Consultations are free. Fees are low-cost and assessed on a sliding scale.

Services performed include citizenship, work authorization and medical waiver applications. Also, green card and DACA renewals can be made.

Such work must be done either by an immigration attorney or by someone who is certified by the U.S. Justice Department.

Carthage College Latin American History Prof. Stephanie Mitchell is one such person, and is the only volunteer at the moment who is certified at the new RIC center.

Mitchell says services performed by certified volunteers and immigration attorneys are in high demand. "I don't think anyone is confused about the fact that our immigration system is in crisis. Our laws do not work," Mitchell said. "They desperately require updating and one of the consequences of that is that we have far more people who require immigration legal services than we have practitioners who can provide those services to the community."  

A fully-functioning immigration system is good for everyone, including immigrants and employers, Mitchell said. "Our democracy works better because people have quick and sensible routes to citizenship which allows them to participate fully in our democracy. And our communities are safer when no one lives in the shadows so that people who break the law are going to have consequences because the people who are victims of crime aren't afraid to turn to law enforcement."