Alameda County Immigration Legal & Education Partnership (ACILEP) is a partnership of Centro Legal de la Raza, Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, and eight community based organizations:

ACILEP provides a rapid response to the legal needs of Alameda residents and families facing imminent deportation or other adverse action as a result of immigration enforcement activities like raids in homes, workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods.

Immigrants need experienced and qualified attorneys to fight against the current surge of deportation and detention. In addition, we simultaneously need resources to create a meaningful rapid response network to make sure the community is aware of their rights and can access counsel as soon as they are detained by ICE.

A report by the Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, on behalf of the Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (NCCIJ) explains the already dire need for removal defense representation in the Bay Area. The report found that over:

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Detained individuals had lived in the United States for over a decade
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Were separated from family members as a result of their detention (approximately half of them were separated from children)
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Had been gainfully employed prior to their detention

Research shows that the removal of these (often) primary breadwinners from the family unit pushes families into the brink of poverty and homelessness, and can leave U.S. citizen children without parents to care for them. Public health insurance programs, foster care services, and other city and county social assistance programs suffer increased costs as a consequence.

In addition to the deleterious economic impacts of losing a family member to detention, studies have found that children whose parents were detained and faced the threat of deportation exhibited significant negative behavioral and emotional trauma. As such, not only do families and our local communities experience economic hardship, they also endure psychological turmoil when a family member is detained and/or deported.

The Impact

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Nearly one-third of Alameda County residents were born outside of the U.S.
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Alameda County residents speak a language other than English at home.
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Children live with one or more foreign-born parent

Recent studies show the extremely damaging psychological and physical impact on children if their parents are apprehended detained and/or deported.

In addition to the severe psychological impact of depression and anxiety, inability to focus in or attend school, children also see an increased risk of self-harm. The student population of the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) shows that approximately 11,000 Oakland students are English language learners, which is 30% of the entire student population. Over 8,000 of OUSD English Language Learner students were born in the U.S., indicating that one or more of their family members are foreign born and that the students are in mixed status families. At present, 5,066 OUSD students are foreign-born, from countries that include: 

  • Afghanistan
  • Burma
  • China
  • El Salvador
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Philippines
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

Such diverse immigrant populations exist throughout our region and have long made Alameda County their home.

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