Esperanza Center


Immigration Legal Services

Regarding President Obama's Executive Action:

Recently, President Obama announced several new administrative policies that will have a significant impact on the clients we serve. Immigrants who can prove that they: (1) are the parent of a United States Citizen or lawful permanent resident child; (2) have lived in the United States for at least five years; and (3) can pass a background check, may be eligible for Deferred Action and work authorization for three years. For up to 55,000 immigrants in Maryland, obtaining Deferred Action will mean that they will be able to live and work lawfully, free from the fear of deportation and having their families torn apart. 

Esperanza’s Immigration Legal Services (ILS) program is gearing up to meet the demands for services that this action will bring.   Although these policy changes will not go into effect until May 2015 at the earliest, our ILS staff has already begun giving informational lectures in the community about who may qualify for Deferred Action, what they can do to prepare, and to beware of immigration scams and fraud.  In addition, ILS has created a user-friendly online screening tool (see links below) that will support Esperanza Center’s efforts to educate the community. As May approaches, ILS will begin to plan a series of workshops, utilizing pro bono attorneys and volunteers, to serve what is anticipated to be thousands of new clients in the Greater Baltimore area.  

If you would like to know more about whether or not you may be eligible for either Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) or expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), please follow the link below to complete an online screening form. Be sure to select 'submit' so that the Esperanza Center may follow up with you for future workshops. 

For English, click here.
Para Español, haga clic aquí. 

Immigration Legal Services was founded in 1994 to provide low-cost legal counseling and representation in immigration matters. We have served individuals from over 150 different countries who reside in Maryland or have immigration cases in Maryland. We assist clients and their family members seeking to obtain, extend or retain lawful immigration status or citizenship in the United States.

 Services We Provide

We provide affordable and pro bono legal counseling and representation in a wide-range of immigration matters including:

  • Immigration consultations
  • Family-based petitions
  • Adjustment of status
  • Trafficking, crime victim, and domestic violence-based immigration applications
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) applications
  • Immigrant visa processing
  • Applications for Citizenship
  • Inadmissibility waiver applications
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • NACARA (Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act)
  • Cancellation of removal
  • Consultations for Unaccompanied Minors
  • Asylum

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We are located in Fells Point at 430 S. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231.

 General immigration consultations

When: Tuesday mornings, starting at 9 AM on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Please bring:

  • All documents related to your immigration legal needs.
  • Consult fee ($100) must be paid by money order. No cash or personal checks accepted.

Get Involved

Please contact the office at (410) 534-8015 for additional details or to obtain a Consultation Questionnaire in advance, which will help speed the intake process. 

 Consults for Victims of Crime and Domestic Violence

When: Wednesday mornings, starting at 9 AM, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Please bring:

  • All documents related to your immigration legal needs - especially a police report.
  • There is no cost for consultations for victims.

For additional details regarding this process, please contact our office.


Participation in an ILS consultation does not guarantee that ILS will be able to take your case or be able to represent you in court; however, it is an opportunity to receive valuable legal advice about your legal needs from an immigration attorney.

Representation fees: Our office provides immigration consultations to all Maryland residents.  During the consultation, the attorney will discuss your immigration options.  Any government or office fees related to subsequent application filings will be discussed during the consultation.

Former clients: If ILS has represented you previously, you must still undergo the consultation process before we can begin a new case.

 Pro Bono Project

Check out the most recent Pro Bono Project Newsletter!

Free SIJS Training to Help Unaccompanied Minors! Please see registration info below.

The Pro Bono Project consists of two distinct parts: group processing workshops, or clinics, and individual case placement. The Project is overseen principally by the Pro Bono Coordinator, Ouranitsa Abbas (, 443-825-3421).


The Pro Bono Coordinator organizes clinics for large groups of eligible individuals to receive specific immigration legal services, such as naturalization (citizenship) applications, refugee/asylee adjustment of status (green card) applications, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. Clinics are held typically once a month on specific Saturdays, often with a prescreening night on Tuesday. 

All are welcome to participate in the clinics to help screen for eligibility and fill out immigration forms under the supervision of an attorney. For more information, click here to access the Clinic Fact Sheet. The schedule for the next clinics can be found in our most recent Pro Bono Project Newsletter here.

Individual Case Placement

The need for immigration legal services virtually always exceeds our capacity for casework. Although we are a high-volume immigration legal service provider, handling an active caseload of over 600 clients at any given time, clients are sometimes put on a wait list due to a lack of resources.  Currently, those cases include potential asylum, U Visas, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Experienced immigration attorneys are welcome to contact us to take a potential asylum or U Visa pro bono referral and we are available for limited technical advice as needed. For our potential SIJS cases, our waitlist has grown due to the waves of unaccompanied minors and we have developed a more structured training and case placement system to accommodate the changes we have been experiencing.

 Donate to our Law Library

Catholic Charities of Baltimore Immigration Legal Services would appreciate any recent editions of books/materials for our modest law library.  As you plan for your annual law library updates, please consider donating the outgoing/older editions to us.  

These materials would be very much appreciated in our work and would make helpful additions to our library. Please mail to 430 S. Broadway, 3rd floor, Baltimore, MD 21231.

Generous support for the Immigration Legal Services Program is provided by:

MLSC logo logo OSI Logo Americorps Logo Smaller

Immigration Legal Services is a member organization of CLINIC, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.



 LIRS network Fingerprinting Sites

Before a child can be reunified with family, certain steps must be taken to ensure that the child is being released to a safe environment.  One of these steps is that the child’s potential sponsor must have his/her fingerprints taken for a criminal background check.

There are fingerprint sites housed within 10 of the shelters that care for the children while they are in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Within the network of the Division of Children’s Services (DCS), LIRS currently partners with 20 social service agencies across the country to provide digital fingerprint services. These sites maintain hours for sponsors to come in to be fingerprinted on a special digital machine. LIRS fingerprint partners are part of community agencies which work diligently to welcome newcomers. The agencies offer DCS fingerprinting services in addition to other supportive services such as food banks, legal services and continuing education.

If you have any questions on the LIRS fingerprint network please contact Virginia Fitchett.