Non-profit to give more free legal advice
Wed, 06 Jul 2011 04:00:09 GMT —
A non-profit organization that gives free legal advice has plans to expand.
Justice For Our Neighbors has already started the process to expand.
Their new full time attorney is in her third week with the organization and soon, she'll be traveling to Brownsville to give advice there as well.
"I don't want to go back to Mexico because the situation there is very difficult," said 'Luis.'
He comes to Justice For Our Neighbors of South Texas in Pharr for help.
"Things are even worse there because of all of drug traffickers and the violence," Saud 'Luis.'
He's lived in Weslaco for 11 years.
He came to live with his father who is a resident of the United States, but 'Luis' crossed over illegally.
"You're in a moment of desperation. You're going to do whatever you need to do to protect your family so sometimes that means crossing over without the proper documentation," said Sandra Salazar, the attorney for the organization.
'Luis' said his father applied for him to become a U.S. resident and even filed for the 245 (i) LIFE ACT that former President Bill Clinton signed that would grant 'Luis' a green card if he could prove he lived here during a certain time period.
"But the case never advanced," he said.
Instead of giving up, 'Luis' is seeking help here.
"They want to obtain documentation and to be legal, but sometimes it's so difficult for them to do that," said Salazar.
Salazar is the organization's new full time attorney.
Before this, she worked in Austin and said the current wait time to get a Visa is at least 10 years, and many immigration cases get backlogged in the immigration system.
"The need is so great all along the border here that we're going to start operating a clinic in Brownsville," said Carole Lahti, the organization's regional coordinator.