The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies - California (CGRS-California) is the California-focused arm of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) based at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. Facing increasing demand for CGRS’s services from the growing refugee and immigrant populations of California and their representatives, CGRS made the decision to incorporate CGRS-California in 2014 to expand and strengthen our ability to provide legal technical assistance, training, and litigation resources for attorneys throughout the state. The newly established 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization works closely with, and continues to be affiliated with CGRS, bringing into focus the same vision for a world where no one is subject to persecution because of gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or membership in a family or other social group.
Led by Managing Attorney Christine Lin, CGRS-California provides free expert consultations, resources, and trainings to attorneys and organizations in California to help obtain the best possible outcomes for individual asylum seekers. We work closely with our partner organizations at the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative to train and mentor attorneys providing direct representation for unaccompanied children and their families living in San Francisco. We are also a member of the Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (NCCIJ) and of the newly formed California Coalition for Universal Representation, which advocates for publicly funded legal representation for immigrants. CGRS-California additionally undertakes strategic impact litigation on behalf of refugees, engages in policy development, research, and in-country fact-finding, and uses international human rights instruments to address the root causes of persecution.
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