EBSC’s legal, social, and advocacy programs address the many challenges that immigrants face. Together, we help to create a pathway to citizenship and integration.
1. We Change Lives.
EBSC’s Refugee Rights Program – started in 1992 and one of the largest in the country – provides low-fee and free legal services for low-income immigrants and asylum seekers. EBSC’s Walk-in Legal Clinic doesn’t turn anyone away for lack of ability to pay and ensures accommodations for clients with language and disability needs. To date, over 3,600 asylum cases (impacting more than 10,000 lives) were granted with a 97.6% success rate. Legal services include residency, family petitions, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), U Visa, naturalization, and others. Many clients join our Community Development and Education (CDE) program to gain the social and educational skills they need to integrate and succeed in the United States. They attend free classes and events related to health, education, financial literacy, English as a Second Language, and citizenship.
2. We Change Policies Through Immigrant-Led Coalitions.
Participants join our Organizing Team to receive training on rights, policies, public speaking, and organizing. They lead policy campaigns on issues they identify, such as the campaign to extend permanent residency for TPS and DACA holders. EBSC is an active member of local and national coalitions, including: NorCal TPS Coalition, Ready Bay Area, East Bay Naturalization Collaborative, and others.
3. We Change Hearts and Minds.
EBSC’s Transformation Education (TE) program increases empathy and informed civic participation through community events and our Amplifying Sanctuary Voices Oral History Project, an interactive educational exhibit that promotes public dialogue. EBSC has long-standing relationships with schools, nonprofits, faith institutions, and government. Our volunteers – over 125 annually – include law students, pro bono lawyers, interns, and community members who connect in a myriad of ways with our refugee-immigrant population; many find this transforms their own lives.
4. We Stand in Solidarity.
Our Solidarity Program supports education and development in Haiti, Guatemala, and other countries whose poor human rights records force their citizens to flee. EBSC provides Fiscal Sponsorship to grassroots groups such as the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (HERF) and OLAS, which provides psychological support for LGBT asylum seekers. EBSC’s Executive Director operates a refugee shelter and our staff volunteer with legal services organizations along the U.S.-Mexico border.