Central American Legal Assistance (CALA), a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Brooklyn, NY, has been representing Central Americans facing deportation since 1986. We opened when civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala forced thousands of war refugees to flee the region. Since then, pervasive violence has continued to plague Central America, as transnational criminal organizations consolidate power and influence within weak governments.
Our clients are under attack on all sides these days; in their home countries, by unfair immigration laws, and a current political environment that demonizes the many Central Americans (mostly women and children) fleeing home to seek refuge at our southern border.
Our legal team is small and we punch above our weight class. We work out of the basement of a church on the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We don't have professional development staff and don't do fancy fundraisers. But we do represent thousands of Central American immigrants at risk of deportation to apply for Asylum, Temporary Protected Status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and other humanitarian relief. Last year alone, we appeared in court on behalf of immigrants facing removal over 500 times, standing shoulder to shoulder with our clients, demanding dignity and due process against all odds.