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Immigration Court Helpdesks

Immigration Court Helpdesks (ICH) work with non-detained respondents to help them better understand what to expect in immigration court proceedings. The ICH aims to increase efficiencies in proceedings and ultimately assist with reducing backlogs in courts nationwide. The ICH expanded from 18 to 24 courts, as well as a new Virtual ICH program that is available to respondents in 5 additional immigration courts. Please visit the list of ICH locations to learn more about how to access these resources.

ICH services consist of five primary components:

  • Group information sessions are group presentations that offer a broad overview of the immigration legal process and basic information on defenses against removal.
  • Individual information sessions are one-on-one meetings, usually held on a walk-in basis or by appointment during specified hours. In these meetings, respondents can ask ICH staff detailed questions about immigration law and what to expect when they appear before the court. The goal is to help respondents understand the immigration court process and their legal options.
  • Self-help workshops are small, interactive classes for people who will be representing themselves in immigration court. In these workshops, immigration attorneys, fully accredited representatives, or paralegals/legal assistants, help participants prepare applications and practice legal advocacy skills with other people who will be pursuing similar defenses against removal.
  • Pro bono outreach recruits, trains, and mentors pro bono attorneys for indigent respondents who could benefit from the assistance of legal representation in immigration proceedings.
  • Friend of the Court services allow ICH providers to appear in court with unrepresented individuals. As a friend of the court, ICH providers serve in an advisory role to facilitate the flow of information between the immigration judge and the participating individual.
Updated October 13, 2023