Harris County Immigration Legal Services

ILSF Judge Hidalgo

In 2020, Harris County led the state in creating the largest public funds to provide legal representation for detained adults through the Immigration Legal Services Fund (ILSF) and immigration legal services for survivors of crime and domestic violence through the Survivor Services in Immigration Law (SSIL). HILSC has been actively involved since the early days when Vera Institute for Justice (Vera) began germinating public funding for immigration legal services for detained adults through creating the Safety and Fairness for Everyone Network (SAFE) in 2017.

HILSC incubated Deportation Defense Houston (DDH) in 2018 through a working group concerned with the lack of representation for detained immigrants in Houston. HILSC also commissioned the report  Communities Torn Apart: The Impact of  Detention and Deportation in Houston, published in November 2020. Using data from DDH and the report, HILSC also collaborated with community stakeholders to advocate for the passage of the ILSF in County Commissioners Court in February 2020.


In 2023, Harris County added funding to launch the Immigration and Naturalization Service Fund and sustain the Immigrant Resource Hotline. The multi-million dollar commitment from Harris County to provide a comprehensive network of immigration legal services from case intake to legal representation to securing immigration relief, and to the ultimate step of integration through naturalization is a complex system. Its success requires centralized program coordination to make the most efficient use of public resources while ensuring that members of our immigrant community can effectively access the service equitably and in dignity.

As Program Coordinator, HILSC will continue our previous role to help the County evaluate program efficacy through sound data collection and analysis to continuously improve programming and build a framework for its sustainability. Through diligent application of measurement, evaluation, and learning framework, HILSC strives to build sustainable and quality representation capacity to achieve the best possible outcomes for people facing removal, seeking immigration protection and American citizenship.

Help us fortify the ecosystem to assist immigrants
in greater Houston.

Support co-creating a vibrant and resilient ecosystem where all immigrants, migrants, and refugees belong.


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