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Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law (UPIL) and Building Capacity of Immigrant Serving Organizations
On April 14, 2011 USCIS hosted a stakeholder engagement with the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review to share information and solicit feedback from participants on ways to increase the capacity of immigrant serving organizations. The capacity building effort, one of the main pillars of the USCIS Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law Initiative, seeks to increase the number of low-cost, authorized immigration legal service providers and to point individuals in need of immigration legal assistance to existing resources. As part of the engagement, staff from the EOIR Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) made a presentation on the BIA Recognition and Accreditation Program, which recognizes organizations and accredits non-attorneys providing low-cost services to represent applicants and petitioners before DHS and DOJ. Presenters also shared information about the EOIR Legal Services and Pro Bono Orientation program, which seeks to improve access to legal information, advice and counseling and increase rates of representation for individuals appearing before the Immigration Courts and the BIA. Please follow the links to the presentations below for more information on these programs.