PCC’s Legal Resource Center partners with Office of Community & Civic Life to assist immigrants and refugees

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Portland Community College Legal Resource Center has signed an agreement to partner with the City of Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life to provide free legal support for immigrants and refugees in Portland.

Civic Life’s Immigrant & Refugee Program and the PCC Legal Resource Center plan to offer free help on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals, work permit applications, immigration legal screenings, and advance parole for DACA recipients. These services were strategically chosen to remove barriers to success and well-being for immigrants and refugees.

“This partnership reaffirms our commitment to equity and justice for all members of our community,” said PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings. “By providing free legal support for immigrants and refugees, we are not only removing barriers to success and well-being but also championing inclusivity and empowerment. Together, we strive to build a more equitable and vibrant city where everyone can thrive.”

Martiza Ceja performs fingerprinting for expungement services.

Martiza Ceja performs fingerprinting for expungement services.

This partnership will facilitate essential legal services for these communities, address legal and support access inequalities, and help individuals in obtaining and maintaining legal status.

“This partnership solidifies our commitment to more comprehensive and sustainable civic engagement in the wake of charter reform and advances the economic, cultural, social, and political well-being of immigrant communities in Portland with essential legal services,” said Civic Life Interim Director Mourad Ratbi. “Civic Life will continue to push for inclusive policies and programs that will lead to full civic, economic, and cultural inclusion throughout each of Portland’s 94 neighborhoods.”

Potential candidates for these services should fill out the PCC Legal Resource Center’s intake form. Staff will review applications and contact those who are eligible to receive aid.

“These services reflect Civic Life’s commitment to supporting immigrant and refugee communities in Portland,” said  Wafa Almaktari, Immigrant & Refugee Program Coordinator. “By filling knowledge gaps and increasing informed decision making, these Portlanders will be empowered to meet legal challenges and bring their whole selves to our vibrant City.”

The PCC Legal Resource Center helps reduce barriers to employment, housing, education and well-being for members of the PCC community. Center staff are dedicated to increasing access to justice and addressing the lasting impact of disproportionate law enforcement on people of color and low-income communities. They focus on serving the community in the areas of housing justice, criminal record relief and self-determination, and immigration justice.

“This funding will allow us to expand our immigration justice program and provide desperately needed immigration legal services and wrap-around support to our community members, free of charge,” said Leni Tupper, Director of the PCC Legal Resource Center. “We are grateful to Civic Life for this partnership with the PCC’s Legal Resource Center, where students can access legal services and support that can be life-changing.”

For more information or assistance, please email alena.tupper15@pcc.edu, or call 971-722-5258.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Director of Public Relations at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic... more »