Immigrants have deep roots in Los Angeles County. They are more than 35 percent of its population, and the overwhelming majority of them - 90 - percent, have been in the United States for more than a decade. In our city, immigrants are more than 51 percent of business owners and almost 72 percent of the essential services workers.
About 18 percent of the county’s residents are undocumented or live with someone who is, and nearly half of households with an undocumented family member depend on that person’s income. As a result, communities across the area hurt deeply when the federal government detains and deports Angelenos - their children end up in foster care (about 6 percent of the county’s children are in foster care), families’ mental health and academic performance suffers, and household income drops by 50-90 percent, plunging families into poverty.
RepresentLA provides legal representation to immigrants, in custody or in the community, who face deportation, and to vulnerable individuals seeking affirmative immigration relief. The program includes community outreach to ensure that historically underserved communities receive access to services and facilitate case management to link clients with other resources and services they need.
RepresentLA is a public-private partnership funded by Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, the California Community Foundation, and the Weingart Foundation. It builds upon the work begun in 2017 by the Los Angeles Justice Fund (LAJF) pilot program, which provided legal services for 2,200 county residents until 2021.
CARECEN serves at the lead contractor and program administrator for the Affirmative Benefits Immigration Representation pillar, as well as a legal service provider for removal defense and immigrants experiencing homelessness in collaboration with Los Angeles County Countywide Benefits Entitlement Services Team (CBEST). 


Four pillars buttress our philosophy and our work:
  1. Detained Deportation Defense: RepresentLA will provide legal representation to detained immigrants in the Los Angeles region by operating, to the greatest extent possible, a merits-blind approach.
  2. Non-Detained Deportation Defense: RepresentLA will represent low-income and vulnerable immigrants in need of legal representation in Los Angeles-area immigration courts. To the greatest extent possible, providers will operate with a merits-blind approach.
  3. Affirmative Immigration Benefits Representation: RepresentLA will support vulnerable populations not in removal proceedings to apply for various forms of immigration relief. These groups include immigrants experiencing homelessness, asylum seekers, survivors of labor trafficking and/or other severe workplace exploitation, and children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by a parent.
  4. Community Support / Investing in Impacted Communities: RepresentLA will focus on various aspects of community support, including:
    1. Ensuring that vulnerable immigrant communities who are severely underrepresented and experience the greatest challenges to obtaining immigration legal counsel receive access to Represent LA services - including, but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, children, and other underserved immigrant communities in the County;
    2. Linking clients and their household members to available support services during legal representation; and
    3. Establishing a Community Advisory Group to ensure that the program incorporates the voices and concerns of impacted community members and responds effectively to changes in law and policy.


RepresentLA's funders include: The County of Los Angeles, The City of Los Angeles, The California Community Foundation, and The Weingart Foundation.

Program Administrator and Managers
  • Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), RepresentLA Program Administrator -  Affirmative Immigration Benefits Representation
  • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), RepresentLA Program Administrator -Detained and Non-Detained Removal Defense Representation  and Project Manager for Community Support
  • Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef), Project Manager for Detained and Non-Detained Removal Defense Representation
Legal Services Providers
  1. Detained and Non-Detained Removal Defense Representation
    1. Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
    2. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
    3. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA)
    4. Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef)
    5. Los Angeles LGBT Center
    6. Public Counsel
    7. The TransLatin@ Coalition (TLC)
    8. University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
  2. Affirmative Immigration Benefits Representation
    1. Affirmative Asylum
      1. Al Otro Lado
    2. Affirmative SIJS
      1. Esperanza Immigrants Rights Project 
    3. Affirmative Labor Trafficking
    4. Immigrants Experiencing Homelessness 
      1. CARECEN
      2. CHIRLA
  3. Additional providers will be listed on a rolling basis as they are confirmed to provide services as part of RepresentLA.


Request for Proposals - Representation of Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces 


The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) invites immigration legal services providers to submit a proposal to provide representation for Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces through RepresentLA. Please see the Request for Proposals (RFP) linked below for details, including deadline, required documents and information, and program contacts. Please submit all proposals to [email protected]

RFP Info Session

Direct questions or comments to RepresentLA Program Manager, Esmeralda V. Meza at [email protected].