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Our Mission

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Our Mission

RILA holistically supports immigrants in our community by providing excellent, pro bono immigration legal assistance to those who are most vulnerable and who have the fewest resources.

What Does RILA Do?

  • Represent asylum seekers in Immigration Court and the Asylum Office

  • Pursue Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

  • Submit Work Authorizations

  • Help immigrant families better understand their individual situations and the immigration benefits for which they may be eligible

 
 
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“There is a reason why the law makes provision for those seeking asylum… What choice does a family under imminent threat have but to flee? What would you do? …To close our eyes and hearts to legitimate claims of persecution would be to repeat the shameful and tragic mistakes of the World War II era.”

— by Eugene Robinson, from his Washington Post article entitled “A Short History on the United States’ Asylum Law and Its Relevance for Today”

 

How Does RILA Work?

RILA is a volunteer-based, non-profit program that operates within Restoration Anglican Church in Arlington, VA. RILA holds bi-monthly, evening clinics in which immigrant families meet with attorneys to work on their cases. At each RILA clinic, about 25 volunteers come together to make and serve dinner for RILA families, provide administrative support, and interpret. RILA has a core staff of seven people who continuously work on behalf of RILA families throughout the week.

Who are RILA Families?

Currently, there are over 85 RILA families, who represent countries in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia, the Middle East, and most of them are fleeing persecution and prevalent violence in their home countries. Many RILA clients are unaccompanied children. Though RILA families have been through unspeakable tragedy, they persist with resilience, work very hard, and love their families. It is our privilege to walk with these families throughout their immigration journey.