Casa Cornelia is committed to upholding the legal rights of individuals fleeing their native countries due to political, social, religious, or ethnic persecution. Our clients are men and women who come to the U.S. from all over the world.
Seeking Asylum in the U.S.
As soon as they set foot in the U.S., asylum seekers must immediately convince immigration officials that they have a credible fear of returning to their homeland, or face deportation. As a result of draconian immigration laws, most are then arrested and hauled off in shackles to detention facilities. Free legal counsel is not provided. A fortunate few have family or friends who can retain private counsel; however, most are indigent and have little or no access to free legal representation. Making a successful asylum claim without an attorney is virtually impossible, particularly for those who remain detained during the deportation proceedings.
Casa Cornelia provides free counsel and representation to indigent asylum seekers at each step of their immigration proceedings.
For non–detained or affirmative asylum seekers, outreach begins at general immigration clinics in communities throughout San Diego in conjunction with social service and religious organizations serving the diverse immigrant populations in this area.
In addition to handling cases within the organization, Casa Cornelia maximizes our limited resources by recruiting, training, and mentoring volunteer attorneys from the private bar who provide pro bono service to our clients. In 2005, Casa Cornelia began a clinical program with the law schools of the University of San Diego, California Western School of Law, and Thomas Jefferson School of Law. With the consent of the Immigration Court, Casa Cornelia trains these clinical law students to directly represent indigent asylum seekers under the supervision of a staff attorney.
If you are foreign-born and cannot return to your home country because you have suffered or fear you will be persecuted due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, you will find instructions on how to apply to the Asylum Program here. You may download an application here or request an application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Para las instrucciones en español, por favor oprima aqui o para la aplicación en español, oprima aqui. For any questions, please call our office at 619-231-7788.