Catholic Legal Services, (CLS) is a nationally recognized agency whose mission
is to provide professional legal services to those who come from foreign lands and lack
sufficient means to obtain representation. Without regard to faith, national origin, defining
characteristics, or beliefs, CLS's team of experienced attorneys and immigration professionals
have been providing free and low-cost legal services to needy immigrants for more than two decades.
Independently incorporated on January 8, 1998, CLS has since grown into one of the most active
nonprofit providers of immigration legal services in the State of Florida, serving refugees and
immigrants from around the world. The staff of CLS reflect the diversity of language and culture
of the individuals they serve.
More than 3000 people pour into CLS's offices each month. Ranging from two months old to
104 years of age, these individuals confront a complex immigration law system and a confusing
bureaucracy. Many have unhealed wounds from a painful past, only to encounter bigotry and barriers
as they adjust to a new culture and way of life. Many often face an uncertain future. But each is
welcomed at either one of our locations in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, where they are warmly
welcomed by our staff of 69, including 31 attorneys and 5 accredited representatives.*
Some simply wish to reunite with their families, many of whom were separated at the border. Most
are political and religious refugees seeking safety and security, many of whom have experienced
persecution and torture. Many are battered spouses and their children or other victims of crime,
seeking to rebuild peaceful and safe lives. We support religious workers seeking to minister to
religious communities in the U.S., and we defend long-term residents of the United States with
significant family and community ties who face deportation. Whether representing individuals and
families before the Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS), United States Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), or Juvenile
Court, with CLS's help, many deserving immigrants and refugees persevere and realize their dreams of
a bright and secure future in the United States.
"An accredited representative is a person who is approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ)
to represent aliens before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office
for Immigration Review (EOIR), which includes the immigration courts and the BIA, and must maintain
a high standard of professional conduct.