Allowing People to Stay

Central American Legal Assistance

3. Good Health and Well-Being 4. Quality Education 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 10. Reduced Inequalities 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Overview

#8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, #10 Reduced Inequalities, & #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities are the main UNSDG's we felt that this organization tackles all together at once. For Decent Work and Economic Growth, they help people get working visas and papers to be able to stay in the United States for a better opportunity at a better life. For Reduced Inequality, they help people get study visas to be able to stay and get good education at an equal opportunity, whereas in their home country they most likely couldn’t get any formal education.

Authors

Daniel Beharovic

Daniel Beharovic

Riley Siederman

Riley Siederman

Alexa Zayas

Alexa Zayas

School

St. John's University

St. John's University

Professor

Charles Wankel

Charles Wankel

Innovation

Central American Legal Assistance (CALA) is making a better world by directly changing individual’s lives which ultimately lead to entire families' lives. If it weren't for CALA, many families might have not been able to stay in the United States to have a better chance at life. CALA has been assisting and fighting for immigrant's rights as their mission since 1985 and thus has put thousands of Latino immigrants on the road to citizenship.

Allowing People to Stay

Inspiration

CALA started because immigration courts started calling up Salvadorans for deportation in early 1980's and there were no or very few lawyers to represent and defend them. Anne Pilsbury founded Central American Legal Assistance in 1986 in response to the Salvadoran Civil War refugee crisis. Before CALA, she was in private practice in the District of Columbia and Maine doing civil litigation, including a major civil rights Bivens action against the FBI and D.C. police "red squad" for the illegal COINTELPRO program- aimed at preventing anti-war protests and black-white unity in D.C. during the 1960s and '70s. She has represented thousands of immigrants over her career as Executive Director.

Overall impact

"CALA has saved thousands from deportation and has made good case law" (meaning federal court decisions that are helpful for all asylum seekers.) See our web page for a list of some. https://www.centralamericanlegal.info"

"CALA is still helping people from Central & South America, different countries due to changes in political situations. For example, now more people from Nicaragua and Venezuela than before."

"Our mission is to protect and defend Central and South American asylum-seekers and to expand the civil rights of all immigrants. CALA has had an open door to newly-arrived immigrants since 1986."

Business benefit

Because CALA started to help immigrants that were being misrepresented, mistreated, and misunderstood, thousands of people and families have been able to have the opportunity for obtaining more rights and liberties than they ever had before while getting free quality education and equal pay for equal work. Countless people have been able to directly change the course of their life by taking the huge leap of faith of fleeing their home country.

Social and environmental benefit

CALA benefits society by creating a safe and reliable environment at their base in Williamsburg while ultimately benefiting the community and overall ecosystem by getting people legal statuses in the United States that are just looking for any opportunity. This benefits countless of communities in New York directly and many other jobs and businesses benefit from their overall impact on society.

Interview

Hernan Posada, Paralegal

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Central American Legal Assistance

Central American Legal Assistance

Brooklyn, NY, US

Business Website: https://www.centralamericanlegal.info

Year Founded: 1985

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Central American Legal Assistance (CALA) provides free or low-cost legal services to New York’s immigrant community. Our mission is to protect and defend Central and South American asylum-seekers and to expand the civil rights of all immigrants.