Guardianship clinic connects hundreds of families with attorneys

Friday, March 31, 2017

Thank you to everyone who came to our Guardianship Planning for undocumented Immigrants clinic! CVLS staff and volunteers helped hundreds of undocumented immigrants create safety plans for their US-born children, on Sunday, March 12.

Recent changes to federal immigration policy have created an immediate need for pro bono services within Chicago’s undocumented immigrant population. In response, CVLS held a one-stop  attorney training and clinic to help undocumented immigrants who fear deportation or detention create safety plans for their families, using statutory short-term guardianships. While we hope our clients never have to use these documents, they provide families with a viable legal plan and a sense of security. Short-term guardianships do not require a court appearance, take effect upon the occurrence of a specified event such as deportation, and can be executed or revoked at any time.

Over 1000 people came to Immaculate Conception Parish in Brighton Park to hear Rebekah Rashidfarokhi, Director of CVLS’ Guardian ad Litem for Minors Program, speak about guardianships. Fifty pro bono attorneys, with the help of more than 50 other volunteers, helped about 200 families by providing legal advice and assistance in executing short-term guardianship forms. 

We are deeply grateful to Immaculate Conception Parish and Fr. Manuel Dorantes for hosting us and providing snacks and logistical help; to Kirkland & Ellis for making thousands of copies of our materials; to the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) and the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA) for their support.

More chances to help!

We are delighted by the enthusiastic response of our volunteers,and have scheduled three more Guardianship Planning for Immigrant Clinics.

April 5, noon
Mexican Consulate
204 S. Ashland Ave.


April 23, 2:30 p.m.
Our Lady of Mercy Parish
4432 N Troy St.

May 6, noon
Mexican Consulate
204 S. Ashland Ave.

If you would like to volunteer for one of these or future immigration legal clinic, please contact Rebekah Azar Rashidfarokhi (