Serving People of All Faiths
Catholic Charities Milwaukee Refugee and Immigration Services is an attorney-driven program helping members of our community become citizens and find lawful status in the United States. We believe the quality of legal help someone receives should not be dependent on how much they can afford. We created this website to help both our clients and those we cannot serve understand their best options for lawful immigration.
In addition to providing legal assistance to low-income clients, we also offer integration and education services to help our new neighbors adjust to life in the United States. We welcome people of all backgrounds and faiths, and are proud to serve Milwaukee’s refugee and immigrant community.
Inspired by Christ’s call to serve, our mission is to provide service to those in need, to advocate for justice, and to call upon others to do the same.
Where We Serve
Along with the other programs of Catholic Charities within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, we serve the 10 southeastern counties of Wisconsin:
Who We Serve
We serve low-income clients who need help gaining lawful status in the United States. Many are families, children, victims of domestic violence, and those who need help defending a deportation hearing. Some of our clients are refugees who come to the United States with nothing, and others are religious workers coming here to serve within a church or diocese.
A refugee is someone who has fled their home country to escape persecution. Refugees have legal rights to stay in the United States, but there are formal processes one must follow.
The United States was founded by immigrants who needed a new start in life. However, there are several steps immigrants must take before they can permanently and lawfully live here.
Immigrants coming to the United States as religious workers have a unique set of steps to follow before they can lawfully and permanently reside here.
Because newcomers to the United States do not have the same rights as natural born citizens, any legal defense needs to be proceeded with extra caution. If you have loved ones who are detained, there are ways you can help them.
Use our Lawyer Shopping Guide
Our client list at Catholic Charities Milwaukee Refugee and Immigration Services is usually at full capacity. If we don’t have availability to personally serve you, we still want to make sure you find the legal help you need. To help you start your search, view our lawyer shopping page. It includes tips and a referral list of reputable immigration attorneys who may be able to take your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Working with Catholic Charities FAQ
Generally, we do not keep wait lists. However, if you have a genuine emergency and we cannot take your case, we can always help you find out if your family member or friend is detained and where. We can also make an appropriate referral to a competent immigration attorney.
We offer emergency consults for friends and family members of detained immigrants. If your loved one has been picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and doesn’t already have an immigration attorney, we can make a referral and help you find your best options.
We serve only those living at or below 125% of the federal poverty level and living within the ten counties of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee: Dodge, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha. We do make exceptions for immigrant victims of domestic violence who have no access to their funds.
Please do not directly call any of our attorneys. Instead, please call 414-653-8670, extension 4418, and ask for Gloria Maldonado. You can also email Ms. Maldonado at email@example.com. She will ask you a few questions to ensure that you are eligible for our services.
We will ask for your income information, where you live, and information about some of your family members. Attorneys have to make a conflict of interest check to ensure that the cases of our existing clients do not interfere with one another. This helps us be an effective advocate for you. For example, we never want a domestic violence victim and the abuser to both be our clients. We will also ask a little bit about your case to make sure that it is the type of immigration case that we handle.
Attorneys are bound by strict confidentiality rules. We may not report you to anyone unless you tell us that you are going to seriously hurt someone in the future. It is important that you feel comfortable talking about difficult things with your lawyer because those topics are important to your case. You should also know that no reputable lawyer will lie for you. Your lawyer will not help you lie to Immigration.
It is also important that you listen to your attorney’s questions carefully and answer as accurately as possible. This includes any questions about criminal arrests. Immigration will find out about any criminal history and lying to them about it will not work. If you do not tell your attorney about your criminal history, it will only hurt your case.
When you have to depend on your lawyer to help you navigate and understand your options, it is especially important to find someone trustworthy and competent.
Refugees coming to the United States must make several adjustments, and often have questions about green cards, citizenship, and work permits.