Founded in 1968, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area is a nonprofit working to protect and promote the rights of people of color, immigrants, and low-income people in California. With the help of our pro bono attorney network, we provide free legal aid to impacted communities, engage in impact litigation, and advocate for policy change on our three main issue areas: Immigrant, Racial, and Economic Justice.
We are on the front lines of the current administration’s war on immigrants. Our Asylum Program, now in its 35th year, has represented thousands of refugees in our immigration courts. At a systems level, we are currently suing Customs and Border Protection over its inhumane detention centers on the US-Mexico border. Most recently, we won an important victory against the administration’s efforts to deport immigrant children living in California.
We work to end mass incarceration and remediate its collateral consequences. On the front end, we are challenging the City of San Francisco’s criminalization of poverty and the Oakland Housing Authority Police Department’s policy of stopping and frisking black residents for “loitering” on their own front lawns. On the back end, we are launching the nation’s first Bail Clinic to challenge predatory bail industry practices that leave people tens of thousands of dollars in debt even if they are never charged with a crime.
Our Legal Services for Entrepreneurs (LSE) program advises immigrant business owners and minority contractors as they build economic power in their own communities. We represent commercial tenants in disputes with unscrupulous landlords in order to protect neighborhood cultural institutions in the Mission and Oakland from eviction and displacement. We also sponsor legislation like the just-signed Immigrant Business Inclusion Act which will help to end discrimination in business licensing.