The APALRC advocates for the legal and civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans in the D.C. metropolitan region through Community Legal Education, Legal Services and Advocacy. In 2015, the APALRC handled 625 legal matters ranging from abuse prevention, employment, family, immigration, housing, crime victim assistance, consumer, civil rights, and public assistance.
The APALRC was founded to help eliminate the language and cultural barriers that have hindered low-income Asian immigrants with limited English proficiency in accessing legal services. By establishing the Multilingual Legal Helpline and the Legal Interpreter Project, the APALRC utilizes the bilingual resources in the Asian American community in Metro-D.C. to provide a linguistic and cultural bridge between the client community and legal services. Since our founding in 1998, the APALRC has evolved from the original “intake and referral” model to a full-fledged legal services program. Starting in 2004 with a project focusing on serving the legal needs of Asian victims of domestic violence, the APALRC has since launched many projects to meet emerging legal needs in the Asian American community. The APALRC currently provides a range of legal services on various legal matters, including abuse prevention and family law, immigration, housing, employment, public assistance, crime victim assistance and consumer advocacy to low-income Asian Americans with limited English proficiency in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. The APALRC practice areas include:
Assistance in getting domestic violence protective orders, and advice and representation in child support, child custody, child visitation, spousal support, divorce and other family law matters.
Assistance in adjustment of status, consular processing, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Employment authorization, family-based petitions, Naturalization, Removal hearings, T visas, temporary Protected Status (TPS), U visas, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions.
Advice and representation involve public benefits such as Social Security Retirement and Disability (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Medicare, Food Stamps, and other public benefits.
Assistance in landlord/tenant, public housing and other housing matters.
As a founder and fiscal agent of the D.C. Language Access Coalition, APALRC advocates for full and equal access to the D.C. government programs and services– particularly in the areas of health, welfare, education, housing and employment benefits– for the D.C.’s estimated 39,000 residents with limited English proficiency, including Asian Americans. The APALRC’s leadership on this issue led to the successful passage of the 2004 D.C. Language Access Act – considered the most comprehensive language access law in the country – which requires that government services be accessible to those with limited-English skills.