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SOAR Legal


SOAR Immigration Legal Services

About Us
Become a Client
General Legal Service Program Events
Grant Funded Projects Get Involved
  Contact Us

About Us
Founded in 1979, the mission of Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR) is to assist refugees in becoming self-sufficient, integrated community members. SOAR’s legal program began in 1992, in response to an influx of Haitian Asylum Seekers and expanded to serve not just refugees but all low income immigrants.

SOAR Immigration Legal Services provides culturally competent, immigration-related legal representation and education to low income refugees and immigrants in and around the Portland metro area. Recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) as an authorized provider of immigration legal services, SOAR’s attorney-driven legal program has a staff of two attorneys, two BIA accredited representatives and one legal assistant.

Last year, SOAR Immigration Legal Services provided legal services, educational services and legal consultations to more than 2,000 people. Our caseload includes naturalization, adjustment of status, family reunification, temporary protected status, parole renewal, humanitarian parole, employment authorization, asylum counseling, refugee travel documents and Cuban removal defense.

SOAR Legal Staff:
Caroline van der Harten, Managing Attorney/Senior Program Manager
Selby Abraham, Staff Attorney
Anna Caesar, Paralegal
Juan Carlos Chavez de Vera, BIA Accredited Representative
Eric Dodson, Citizenship Instructor
Angie Kelly, Education Coordinator
Aysmara Miller, Office Manager

Know Your Rights:
What Immigrant Families at Risk of Deportation Can Do Now

Download SOAR Legal's "Know Your Rights" fact sheet to help someone you know who may be at risk of deportation.

Make a child care and family preparedness plan. For Oregon-specific information, download the Oregon Law Center's prepared packet. Spanish version. English version.

View resources on Causa's website (Oregon's Immigrant Rights Organization).


General Legal Services Program

SOAR Legal has been providing culturally competent immigration related legal services to low income refugees and immigrants in Oregon since 1992. SOAR is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) as an authorized provider of immigration legal services.

Legal Services:
• Adjustment of Status
• Employment Authorization Documents
• Removal of Conditional Residence Status
• Family Reunification
• Consular Processing
• Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
• Affidavit of Support
• Humanitarian Parole & Renewal
• Temporary Protected Status
• Asylum Counseling
• Citizenship

Translation/Interpretation Service
SOAR Legal offers document translation and interpretation services for a fee.

To become a client, attend one of our Hillsboro, Southeast Portland, or Northeast Portland Clinics. The Hillsboro Clinic takes place the first Tuesday of every month, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Hillsboro United Methodist Church (168 NE Eighth Ave., Hillsboro, Ore. 97214). The Southeast Portland Clinic takes place on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Sts. Peter and Paul Episcopal Church (247 SE 82nd Ave., Portland, Ore. 97216)*. The Northeast Portland Clinic takes place on the third Thursday of every month, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Bridgeport Community United Church of Christ (621 NE 76th Ave, Portland, OR 97213)*. The consultation fee is $50, unless you qualify for one of our grant funded projects.

* Please note: If there is inclement weather, the SOAR Legal office follows the Portland Public Schools (“PPS”) schedule. If PPS is closed, the SOAR Legal office will be closed. If PPS has a two hour delay, the SOAR Legal office will open at 10:30 a.m. Please be sure to check the school closure schedule before traveling to our office. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

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Grant Funded Projects

Cuban Haitian Assistance Project (CHAP)
SOAR has been serving the Cuban and Haitian community through CHAP since 2006, thanks to funding from the Oregon Department of Human Services State Refugee Program. Under this program, SOAR serves 96 percent of the Cuban immigrants in the state of Oregon. CHAP services are available to eligible Cubans and Haitians who have lived in the United States for fewer than five years, except in the case of Naturalization.

Services Offered:
•  Crime  & Victimization Classes for newly arriving refugees
•  Legal Services including:

o   Adjustment of Status
o   Employment Authorization Documents
o   Naturalization to U.S. Citizenship

If you would like to become a client, contact Aysmara Miller at (503) 384-2482, amiller@emoregon.org.

New Americans Initiative
SOAR Legal offers free Citizenship educational and legal services, thanks to funding from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). SOAR provides services in our office in northeast Portland but also hosts legal clinics and citizenship classes in Hood River, Hillsboro and Woodburn. Please see our Event section below for more information about our clinics and classes.

Services Offered:
•  Citizenship Classes (please see Event section below for dates and locations)
•  Citizenship Legal Services
•  Naturalization Clinics (please see Event section below for dates and locations)

Eligibility for Citizenship:
•  Be at least 18 years old;
•  Have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least the last five years (or three years if married to a U.S. Citizen);
•  Have been physically present in the United States for at least a total of two years and six months during the past five years (or one year and six months if married to a U.S. Citizen);
•  Have not been outside the United States for more than one year at a time;
•  Be able to speak, read and write conversational English (with exceptions);
•  Be able to pass a U.S. Civics and History exam (with exceptions);
•  Be a person of “good moral character”; and
•  Be willing to take an oath of loyalty to the United States.

If you would like to become a client, please call (503) 384-2482..

Voter Education Project
Through the Voter Education Project, SOAR Legal provides classes to newly naturalized citizens, thanks to funding from the Multnomah Bar Foundation. During these classes, participants register to vote and learn about voting in Oregon—what it means to vote, how to read a voter pamphlet and when to vote. This class is available to all newly naturalized citizens, especially low income and disabled refugees and asylees. Our objective is to ensure that newly naturalized citizens have a proper understanding of and access to the American voting system, thus allowing for full immigrant integration, civic participation and voter engagement.

Services Offered:
• Voter Education Classes

To receive these services, you can attend a class (see Event schedule below). If you are not able to attend one of the scheduled classes, you can schedule an appointment for individual assistance by contacting our office at (503) 384-2482.

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Become a Client

To become a client, attend one of our Hillsboro, Southeast Portland, or Northeast Portland Clinics. The Hillsboro Clinic takes place the first Tuesday of every month, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Hillsboro United Methodist Church (168 NE Eighth Ave., Hillsboro, Ore. 97214). The Southeast Portland Clinic takes place on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Sts. Peter and Paul Episcopal Church (247 SE 82nd Ave., Portland, Ore. 97216)*. The Northeast Portland Clinic takes place on the third Thursday of every month, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Bridgeport Community United Church of Christ (621 NE 76th Ave, Portland, OR 97213)*. The consultation fee is $50, unless you qualify for one of our grant funded projects.

* Please note: If there is inclement weather, the SOAR Legal office follows the Portland Public Schools (“PPS”) schedule. If PPS is closed, the SOAR Legal office will be closed. If PPS has a two hour delay, the SOAR Legal office will open at 10:30 a.m. Please be sure to check the school closure schedule before traveling to our office. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

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Events

FREE Citizenship Classes
No registration necessary, and everyone is welcome!

Class:            Beginner English (Portland)
When:            Mondays & Thursdays, April 3 to June 12.
Time:              2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Where:           SOAR, Room 300, 7931 NE Halsey St., Portland (Bus 77 / NE 82nd MAX).           

Class:            Low Intermediate English (Portland)
Starts:             Mondays and Wednesdays, April 3 to June 14.
Time:              6 to 8 p.m.
Where:           SOAR, Room 300, 7931 NE Halsey St., Portland (Bus 77 / NE 82nd MAX).      

Class:            High Intermediate English (Portland)
When:            Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 4 to June 8.
Time:              6 to 8 p.m.
Where:           SOAR, Room 300, 7931 NE Halsey St., Portland (Bus 77 / NE 82nd MAX).

Class:             Intermediate English (Gresham area)
Starts:             Sundays, April 23 to July 23.
Time:              12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Where:           Rockwood Library, 17917 SE Stark St., Portland.

Class:             Intermediate English (Hillsboro)
Starts:             Sundays, January 24 to April 25..
Time:              2 to 5 p.m.
Where:           Shute Park Library, 775 SE 10th Ave., Hillsboro.      

Class:             Intermediate English (Hood River)
Starts:             Mondays, May 8 to August 14.
Time:              5 to 8 p.m.
Where:           Hood River County Library, 502 E. State St., Hood River.      

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Get Involved

Volunteer
SOAR Legal depends on the assistance of volunteers to serve the needs of our clients. Here are some ways that you can get involved:

Citizenship Instructor: Teach Citizenship Classes to immigrants interested in becoming U.S. Citizens.
Citizenship Day Volunteer: Provide one-on-one assistance to low income immigrants who are eligible to apply for Citizenship. All Citizenship Day volunteers are required to attend a training prior to participation in an event.
Interpreter/Translator: Provide translation of documents and interpretation for clients during appointments and interviews with US Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Law Students: Conduct research, interview clients and assist with case management.
Legal Assistant: Provide administrative support to attorneys and accredited representatives.
Pro Bono Attorney: Provide pro bono legal services to SOAR’s low income clients.

To volunteer, please email a resume and brief letter of interest to cvanderharten@emoregon.org.

Donate
• Online Donations are safe and secure. When you donate through our website, we will not sell, trade or share your information with anyone else. Donate Online Now
• Donations can also be mailed to Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon/SOAR Legal, Interchurch Center, 0245 SW Bancroft Street, Suite B, Portland, Oregon 97239. Be sure to specify that the donation is designated for SOAR Legal.
• For special and in-kind gifts, or if you have any questions, please contact our Development staff at (503) 221-1054.

Thank you for making a difference today!

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Contact Us
You are welcome to visit the SOAR Legal office at 7931 NE Halsey St., Ste. 302, Portland, OR 97213.
Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 5 p.m.
Phone: (503) 384-2482.
See list of staff under About Us.

Please note: If there is inclement weather, the SOAR Legal office follows the Portland Public Schools (“PPS”) schedule. If PPS is closed, the SOAR Legal office will be closed. If PPS has a two hour delay, the SOAR Legal office will open at 10:30 a.m. Please be sure to check the school closure schedule before traveling to our office. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

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