Esperanza Legal Assistance Center

Esperanza Legal Assistance Center provides legal assistance to low-income, immigrant, and Spanish-speaking residents of the Quad Cities who are seeking assistance with issues relating to immigration, such as family-based sponsorship petitions, naturalization, document renewals, adjustment of status/consular processing (green card), DACA, TPS, and Non-immigrant/Humanitarian Visas. We accept a minimal number of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), U-Visas, and T-Visas.

Our office is currently accepting clients by appointment only. A $60 office visit/legal consultation fee is due before meeting with the Immigration Legal Specialist. The consultation fee is in addition to any legal or filing fees that may be required for your case. The Immigration Legal Specialist will discuss those fees with you during the consultation and provide the next steps.

Financial assistance is available for those who qualify, but no one will be turned away from an inability to pay. (Proof of income, etc., is required for reduced service fee waivers.)

Esperanza Legal Assistance Center operates through our client fees, grants, and financial support from Heritage Church. If you would like to financially support the ministry and work of Esperanza Legal Assistance Center, you can contact us at (309) 732-0044.

Staff

Jeremiah X. Gómez
Site Director
Yolanda Nicolas Gil
Intake Specialist & Legal Assistant
Carolyn R. O’Connor
Immigration Legal Specialist (DOJ Accredited & Program Manager
Ashley Pineda
Legal Assistant

Partnerships/Collaborations

Esperanza Legal Assistance Center is part of the Immigrant Connection – Tyson Immigration Partnership that provides direct immigration legal services to employees at Tyson Foods (Joslin and Columbus Junction). Current employees may receive a free consultation to discuss their immigration questions and can file for Citizenship, Green Card Renewal, and most Employment Authorization renewals at no cost. Fees are covered by Tyson Foods. Eligible employees may also be reimbursed for their citizenship filing fees (see HR for more information). For more information and scheduling, eligible employees should contact their Human Resources Department or visit https://www.tipwelcome.com/.

We partner with Citizenshipworks to assist in screening individuals for naturalization. This free online tool allows you to answer questions, screen for red flags, and obtain a legal review from our legal specialists. . . free of charge. If you are considering self-filing (pro se), this will allow you to make sure you shouldn’t run into any problems. To access, visit https://www.citizenshipworks.org/portal/ELAC.

We partner with Immi to assist in screening individuals for residency options and next steps. It is a free online, confidential tool that allows you to answer questions, screen for possible options and obtain a legal review from one of our immigration legal specialists…free of charge. If you are considering self-filing (pro se), we encourage you to utilize this tool to view possible options to your status. For access, click HERE to begin your screening.

We work with Ascentra Credit Union to provide low-cost payment plans (loans) for immigration legal and filing fees through the Newcomers Initiative, which is made possible with a generous grant from Global Communities. For more information about Ascentra and the Newcomers Initiative, visit their webpage. (Note: Due to limited funds, this program is only available to clients of Esperanza Legal Assistance Center.)

We are pleased to partner with Moline Public Library in regards to Citizenship/Naturalization Preparation classes. Through our work with them, students can be screened for naturalization and learn the civics, history, and other information necessary to successfully pass the Citizenship exam/interview. Classes are offered throughout the year in both on-demand/online format and in-person classes. For more information, visit https://molinelibrary.librarymarket.com/events/month. (We also support literacy efforts through our connection with the Children’s Department of the Library as part of Esperanza Center.)

Esperanza Legal Assistance Center is a partner with The New Americans Campaign. Led by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the New Americans Campaign is a diverse nonpartisan national network of respected immigration organizations, legal services providers, faith-based organizations, immigrant rights groups, foundations, and community leaders. The Campaign transforms the way aspiring citizens navigate the path to becoming new Americans. It is committed to connecting lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to trusted legal assistance and critical information that simplifies the naturalization process. For more information about NAC, visit their website.

We are a member organization of the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), a program of Pro Bono Net, dedicated to expanding access to immigration legal resources and information through collaboration and technology. Find us here.

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) is dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. Esperanza Legal Assistance Center is a partner organization of ICIRR. More information available on their website.

We partner with Knox College to provide opportunities for students to gain experience in law, interpretation/translation, and office administration as well as provide assistance to our staff with various activities. Students wishing to participate in the program should contact Robin Ragan, Professor of Modern Languages (Spanish).

We utilize Tarjimly, which provides access to languages that we may not normally have interpretation staff for. Tarjimly means “translate for me” and was founded in 2017 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the US Refugee & Travel Ban. Their mission is to improve the lives of refugees and the efficiency of humanitarian services by eliminating language barriers. More information at https://tarjimly.org/en.