SEVA Legal Help Organization is founded on the principle to provide pro bono (free) legal services. The very essence of our name means to serve; the word ‘SEVA’ derived from Sanskrit means “Service” – or in other words, “volunteer service”.
SEVA was conceived from our visionary founder’s passion to make sure the most vulnerable in society: those that could not afford adequate counsel on account of their resources had equal access to justice.
Immigrants and their children make up for approximately 28 percent of the overall U.S. population, according to the 2019 Current Population Survey; yet many of these immigrants find that even though they have the right to counsel in immigration court, a majority do not have the required resources or access to legal representation. That’s why SEVA takes the initiative to ensure any such immigrants and their families have full access to legal representation, regardless of the circumstances under which they have arrived in this country.
SEVA Legal Help Organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Ever since setting up office in 2019, SEVA has provided free or low-cost legal services to immigrants who have been detained. It is no secret that the scales of the justice system in the U.S. tip heavily against aliens and immigrants who are non-represented. Especially in places such as California, immigrants and aliens that have come to this country in search of a better life have been at a major disadvantage due to lack of adequate or no legal representation. Therefore, we make it our goal to reduce the challenges these marginalized minorities and immigrants face in their pursuit of justice.
We aim to create a bridge between the vulnerable and demoralized immigrants who have been let down by our legal system. We hope to instill in them the sense that they are indeed equal and essential so that they may find the strength within themselves to take on the challenges they are often faced with when interacting with the justice system.
We offer a variety of services that include counseling, legal advice, individual representation, community education about most current Immigration laws and impact litigation. We aim to challenge the many injustices that are rampant in today’s society.
As per the very soul and mission of SEVA Legal Help Organization, we also offer pro bono legal assistance to as many detained immigrants as possible. We aim to assist those detained immigrants who do not have access to financial resources, legal representation, literacy about the legal world, and their right to counsel.
The beneficiaries of SEVA encompass are divided into two parts, i.e. detained immigrants and non-detained immigrants.
Our main objective is to fight for the right to freedom for those that are facing prolonged detention in ICE custody and to offer them equal rights to legal counsel.We also provide our services to non-detained immigrants belonging to low-income families.
Our beneficiaries primarily are individuals who cannot get access to legal representation at the
expense of the government. The lack of proper legal representation leaves them at a
disadvantage and thus, they do not get equal access to justice in seeking a relief that they may
be entitled to by law.
Our role is to ensure that our attorneys, legal assistants, and advocates get in touch with individuals or families who have been unable to get access to legal counsel due to lack of financial resources, family ties in the USA or inadequate knowledge of the immigration court system. We provide legal advice; and help educate and prepare the detainees for the processes they are about to undergo, the rights they have to counsel and to a fair trial, and the responsibilities they have, before they are taken into immigration court. Legitimate laws stand in place to facilitate and serve the people but because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of those very laws, immigrants are often left with the short end of the stick.
Upon inquiry, we often find that non-detained immigrants are misguided by Notarios who although are not Lawyers and thus not allowed to give legal advice but often bonded legal documents preparers by the State. Often these Notarios are unethical and provide unsuspecting immigrants with misinformation, misinterpretation, and fraudulent contracts. This jeopardizes their chances of receiving any immigration benefits and in worse cases, potentially leads to detainment or deportation. SEVA provides pro bono or low-cost legal consultation and assistance in documentation in order to help with their immigration proceedings.