In 1988, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) established CLINIC as a legally distinct 501(c)(3) organization to support a rapidly growing network of community-based immigration programs. CLINIC's network originally comprised 17 programs. It has since increased to 201 diocesan and other affiliated immigration programs with 290 field offices in 47 states. The network employs roughly 1,200 BIA accredited representatives and attorneys who, in turn, serve 600,000 low-income immigrants each year. CLINIC and its member agencies represent low-income immigrants without reference to their race, religion, gender, ethnic group, or other distinguishing characteristics.
Collectively, CLINIC’s vast network of more than 196 community-based programs located in 47 states provide services to more than 600,000 newcomers each year.
Since 1997, CLINIC’s programs have helped more than 100,000 people apply for citizenship; helped approximately 12,000 refugees and asylees apply for green cards; and have provided immigrants with over 15,000 hours of English language instruction.
In 2007, CLINIC provided 7,676 detained immigrants with “know your rights” workshops.
In 2001, CLINIC founded the only toll-free, national referral line for asylees seeking accurate information about resettlement services and programs. Over the last ten years, the National Asylee Information and Referral Line has served over 34,000 asylees. Referral information is available in 18 different languages.
As of 2008, CLINIC represents more than 250 dioceses and religious communities that bring foreign-born priests, sisters, seminarians and religious laypersons to the United States each year.
CLINIC trained more than 5,000 immigration practitioners in 2008.
CLINIC’s Attorney-of-the-Day Help Line fields at least 20 calls per day from member agencies on the most effective strategy for representing clients. CLINIC’s attorneys staff the hotline which covers topics such as family-based immigration, naturalization, temporary employment authorization, and relief from removal.
CLINIC’s pro bono attorneys have filed briefs and represented more than 500 immigrants before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
In 2010, when CLINIC launched its National Pro Bono Project for Children more than 800 children were referred to CLINIC for matching with pro bono attorneys.
CLINIC trains more than 2,000 local legal services providers per year. It represents hundreds of detainees and other vulnerable immigrants, as well as foreign-born religious workers. Its programs have assisted more than 100,000 people to become U.S. citizens. It has created several special programs for refugees and asylees. Its advocacy priorities – established by its local member agencies -- include dozens of issues involving work authorization, family reunification, and protection of the vulnerable.
CLINIC has received numerous awards for its work, including:
Excellence in Advocacy Award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, 2003
First Annual Monsignor George C. Higgins Award from the Archdiocese of Washington for leadership and advocacy on behalf of low-wage and exploited immigrant laborers, 2002
Human Rights Award from the United Nation’s Association of the National Capital area for service to detained immigrants, 1998
Special recognition by Pope John Paul II for its collaboration with Jesuit Relief Services to create integrated legal and pastoral programs in two immigration detention centers (“a model project for the new millennium”).
CLINIC staff have received such prestigious awards as:
National Immigration Law Center (NILC) for advocacy on behalf of low-income immigration and for service to organization as NILC's first executive director (Charles Wheeler, 2009)
Women of Justice Award by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Women's Bar Association and the Massachusetts Association of Women Lawyers (Kristina Karpinski, 2009)
American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Award (Mark Von Sternberg, 2002)
Daniel Levy award from Matthew-Bender LEXIS-NEXIS for excellence in written scholarship on behalf of immigrants and mentoring of legal practitioners (Charles Wheeler, 2002)
Detention Watch Network Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary dedication for serving and advocating for people in detention (James Haggerty, 2002)
Detention Watch Network Award for Justice Work (Christina DeConcini, 2000)