On April 17, over 120 community members gathered at City Hall for the San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network’s (SFILEN) Annual Immigrant Family Day. For the past 13 years, SFILEN has put on Immigrant Family Day as a celebration of civic engagement and community building. Participants were able to meet with the Board of Supervisors to have an opportunity to speak directly about concerns they have regarding immigration, housing, and other issues that impact their lives.
SFILEN, which has been funded through the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development for those 13 years, is currently comprised of the following organizations: African Advocacy Network, Arab Resource & Organizing Center, Asian Law Caucus, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Central American Resource Center, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Filipino Community Center, La Raza Centro Legal, La Raza Community Resource Center, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights, Causa Justa:: Just Cause, with Dolores Street Community Services as the lead agency.
These agencies represent immigrants from African and Afro-Caribbean, Arab, Asian, and Latino communities, providing free legal assistance and community education. Collectively the Network provides services in over 20 languages and dialects. Annually, SFILEN provides over 1,400 consultations, 464 immigration application and form processing and submissions, and 131 full-scope legal representation cases.
The immigration landscape is constantly shifting as new laws and policies are enacted that degrade the rights and forms of relief for the immigrant community. Through these shifts, SFILEN continues to serve the immigrant community through legal services, inform the community of their rights, and advocate to increase local protections and ensure that San Francisco remains a Sanctuary City for All.