Announcing the Pro Bono Immigration Referral Network


test2The sudden influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America has created a need for dedicated volunteers who can help with their immigration cases, including actions filed in state court. In response to inquiries from private attorneys looking for information on how they can help, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has developed a Pro Bono Immigration Referral Network to connect attorneys with volunteer opportunities.

TRLA primarily assists with T (Trafficking) and U (Victims of Crimes) Visas and we are always looking for resources for those cases. If your practice involves other forms of relief, please consider signing up and we will forward your information to the appropriate immigration legal services provider. Continue reading

Attorneys Recognized for Pro Bono Commitment to Victims of Violence


TRLA’s Stella Hernandez (right) and Danielle Gonzalez present awards to this year’s honorees.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has honored twelve Texas attorneys for their commitment to providing free legal services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The attorneys were  recognized at TRLA’s 14th Annual Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Cross-Training Conference in San Antonio, The three-day conference brings together legal aid attorneys and staff from Texas domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers to collaborate on best practices to help victims of violence. The attorneys received their awards at the conference’s closing luncheon on August 7th. Continue reading

Advocates Come Together for 14th Annual Shelter Conference


Domestic violence survivor Yesica (right) thanks TRLA attorney Maricarmen Garza for helping her leave her abuser.

Last week week legal aid attorneys joined with advocates from Texas domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers for the 14th Annual Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Cross-Training Conference in San Antonio.

The advocates were welcomed to San Antonio by TRLA Executive Director David Hall and conference director Maricarmen Garza. Throughout the conference advocates heard presentations from state experts on issues including legislative advocacy, public housing, international child abduction, consumer advocacy, child support, and working with Child Protective Services. Continue reading

Success Story: An Adoption that Never Happened


Donald was homeless, disabled, and trying to get an apartment through housing assistance. In order to apply for this program, he needed to show proof of his identity. But Donald was facing a problem. He had been in the foster care system until he was about six years old and placed with his aunt and uncle. Donald thought that his aunt and uncle had legally adopted him but all of his legal documents listed his last name at birth, not the last name he had been going by since his adoption. Without the right documents with the right name, Donald couldn’t apply for assistance.

Not knowing what to do, Donald turned to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid for help. Continue reading

Success Story: A Bad Fix


Leticia’s car had broken down while she was driving along a busy highway so she took it to a local mechanic to be fixed. She agreed to a lengthy list of repairs the mechanic said she needed and picked up the car a week later. But after a few days, the car started having problems again.

Leticia took her car back to the mechanic only to be told that her car didn’t have any oil and the transmission needed to be rebuilt. She was upset. She had just had the oil changed and the mechanic had never told her about any oil or transmission issues before. She also didn’t have any more money to put towards new repairs. Continue reading