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Office of Community & Civic Life Funds Free Legal Services for Immigrants & Refugees

News Article
Staff from Civic Life and PCC celebrate the new partnership providing free legal services for immigrants and refugees.
A first-of-its-kind partnership between the City’s Immigrant & Refugee Program and Portland Community College Legal Resource Center will provide free legal aid for these communities
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Office of Community & Civic Life has signed an agreement to partner with Portland Community College Legal Resource Center to provide free legal support for immigrant and refugee Portlanders.

Civic Life’s Immigrant & Refugee Program is partnering with PCC Legal Resource Center to offer free help on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals with work permit applications, immigration legal screenings, and advance parole for DACA recipients. These services were strategically chosen to remove barriers to success and well-being for immigrants and refugees.

“These services reflect Civic Life’s commitment to supporting immigrant and refugee communities in Portland,” said Wafa Almaktari, Immigrant & Refugee Program Coordinator. “By filling knowledge gaps and increasing informed decision making, these Portlanders will be empowered to meet legal challenges and bring their whole selves to our vibrant City.”

This partnership will facilitate essential legal services for these communities, address legal support access inequalities, and help individuals to obtain and maintain legal status.

“This partnership solidifies our commitment to more comprehensive and sustainable civic engagement in the wake of charter reform and advances the economic, cultural, social, and political well-being of immigrant communities in Portland with essential legal services,” said Civic Life Interim Director Mourad Ratbi. “Civic Life will continue to push for inclusive policies and programs that will lead to full civic, economic, and cultural inclusion throughout each of Portland’s 94 neighborhoods.”

Potential candidates for these services should fill out PCC Legal Resource Center’s intake form. Staff will review applications and contact those who are eligible to receive aid.

“This partnership reaffirms our commitment to equity and justice for all members of our community,” said PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings. “By providing free legal support for immigrants and refugees, we are not only removing barriers, but also championing inclusivity and empowerment. Together, we strive to build a more equitable and vibrant city where everyone can thrive."

The PCC Legal Resource Center helps reduce barriers to employment, housing, education and well-being for Portland residents. Center staff are dedicated to increasing access to justice and addressing the lasting impact of disproportionate law enforcement on people of color and low-income communities. They focus on serving the community in the areas of housing justice, criminal record relief and self-determination, and immigration justice. 

“This funding will allow us to expand our immigration justice program and provide desperately needed immigration legal services and wrap-around support to our community members, free of charge,” said Leni Tupper, Director of the PCC Legal Resource Center. “We are grateful to Civic Life for this partnership with the PCC’s Legal Resource Center, where students can access legal services and support that can be life-changing.”

For questions or help, please email or call 971-722-5258.
Interim Director Ratbi, Program Coordinator Wafa Almaktari, and  PCC Legal Resource Center Director Leni Tupper celebrate the new partnership.
Civic Life Interim Director Ratbi, Program Coordinator Wafa Almaktari, and PCC Legal Resource Center Director Leni Tupper celebrate the new partnership.
About Office of Community & Civic Life
The Office of Community & Civic Life connects the people of Portland with their City government to promote the common good. Founded in 1974, Civic Life works to build stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders to get involved with their local government through civic engagement, community leadership, and support for neighbors. We work every day with a wide range of partners to build systems that serve the needs of all Portlanders, ensuring equitable outcomes for our communities. Learn more at

About Portland Community College
Founded in 1961, Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and provides training, degree and certificate completion, and lifelong learning to more than 50,000 full- and part-time students in Multnomah, Washington, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Columbia counties. PCC has four comprehensive campuses, 10 education centers or areas served, and approximately 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning. Visit PCC news on the web at