RILA is a recognized organization by the Department of Justice, which designates RILA as a trusted organization that provides low-cost immigration legal services and will not deny services due to a person’s inability to pay. RILA is an affiliate of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), which provides RILA staff with access to immigration legal resources, trainings, supervision, and consultation.
Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA) grew out of the vision of a small group of people from Restoration Anglican Church to welcome and care for its immigrant neighbors, as compelled by Jesus, recorded in the Bible in Matthew 25. This vision took the shape of a legal aid ministry, not only to provide affordable legal counsel but also to offer a space for ministering to individuals and families at their most vulnerable. In 2015, a committed team with legal, social work, pastoral, translation, and administrative skills formed and began laying the groundwork for RILA. Soon after, RILA received approval as a US Department of Justice-recognized organization. With a decision to focus primarily on asylum cases, RILA held its first monthly legal aid clinic on March 2016, at which a single client attended.
Since then, RILA has expanded to twice-monthly clinics held at Restoration Anglican Church, with up to 15 clients and their family members served at each event. As the number of clients has grown, so has the follow-up case work, court appearances and number of volunteers. Starting as a team of 7, RILA now depends upon more than 100 volunteers to carry out its work, which consisted of 160 active cases as of October 2018. In 2019, RILA will transition from a small church ministry to a Christian-based nonprofit organization, as it seeks to expand the number of clients served, provide additional holistic services to clients, and partner with various churches in the community.
1815 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22207