Immigration Legal Services | Global Refuge

New name, same mission! LIRS is now Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

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Immigration Legal Services

Where Immigration Law and Policy Meet Practice

Immigration legal services is one of our newest ministries of service and justice.

The U.S. immigration legal system is extremely complex and challenging to navigate. Newcomers often struggle to access immigration benefits due to cost burdens, language and cultural barriers, and case backlogs. Our Legal Services team aims to break down these barriers.

Historic levels of forced displacement worldwide have increased the demand for free and low-cost immigration legal services by persons seeking humanitarian protection in the United States. With over 85 years of experience as a resettlement agency, we understand the toll that uncertain immigration outcomes and prolonged family separation can have on survivors of persecution, armed conflict, societal violence, and environmental disasters. Our immigration legal services program exists to help newcomers regain agency, achieve stability for themselves and their families in the U.S., and contribute to supporting loved ones abroad.

Global Refuge believes that access to high-quality immigration legal services honors the inherent dignity of the people we serve while also contributing to efforts to improve the immigration system. Research shows markedly improved legal outcomes for individuals represented in their immigration cases.

Access to legal representation can help individuals access secure critical documentation and work authorization more quickly – benefiting newcomers and their receiving communities. However, challenges such as a shortage of non-profit immigration legal service providers result in many newcomers often being left underserved.

Our immigration legal services program offers high-quality immigration legal services from a trauma-informed and culturally proficient perspective. We understand that access to immigration legal protections can increase employment/economic stability, open doors for academic achievement, and improve physical and mental health. That is why we are committed to using the U.S. Department of Justice’s Recognition and Accreditation program to build legal services capacity and to ensure services are provided by individuals with lived experience. As a faith-based, non-profit organization we are committed to providing these services at no cost or low cost to our clients.

Finally, we wish to ensure that all applicants, whether represented by counsel or not, have access to a fair, efficient, and just immigration legal system. Through our experience representing clients and providing technical support and assistance to our network of affiliates, we use data to detect, analyze, and advocate for systemic changes within the immigration system to benefit the greater good.

Support Global Refuge


Global Refuge’s immigration legal services program receives limited and restricted funding from the federal government. Private funding is critically needed to help us expand our services to reach more people who need legal representation and protection.


Our Immigration Legal Services

Our legal program focuses on supporting clients in their cases involving humanitarian forms of relief, family-based applications, and citizenship/naturalization. The team provides immigration legal screening, case consultations, pro se assisted services, direct representation, and assistance with case inquiries and escalation for eligible clients.

At present, the Global Refuge Legal Services team provides services to:

Our Values 

Rooted in our Lutheran heritage and inspired by our values, our legal services team approaches our work with the advocacy, care, and empowerment that is consistent with faith teachings. Learn more from the ELCA.

Questions and Referrals

For questions about referrals to our Baltimore, Fargo, and San Antonio offices, please send an email to our legal services team or contact your case manager.

Email the Team

“We are called to serve our siblings in a way that honors their inherent dignity, protects their human rights, and seeks justice for all who seek safety and protection.”
Jill Marie Bussey, Global Refuge Director for Legal Affairs

You can change lives.

Explore the many ways to support Global Refuge.

Get Involved

Explore the many ways to support Global Refuge.

Get Involved