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Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus

We provide confidential legal information, assistance, and referrals for low-income community members to help you understand your rights. In some cases, we offer free legal consultation and representation to community members on immigrant detention and deportation, housing, workers’ rights, and civil and constitutional rights, including unjust surveillance, profiling and police misconduct. For matters that we are not able to consult or represent on, we will attempt to provide appropriate referrals.

ALC commits to providing legal help in our clients’ preferred languages. For languages and dialects not spoken by our staff, we work with professional interpreters and translators to cover over 200 languages and dialects free of charge. The languages most commonly requested by our clients are Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Scroll down for a Q&A with more resources on evictions, deportation orders, workplace harassment, and many other topics.

Office: 55 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: (415) 896-1701

NOTE: The Asian Law Caucus office at 55 Columbus will be temporarily closed for renovations beginning 12/18/23. If you have any questions, please see the FAQ page or call our main line number.

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Eviction, Harassment, and Rent Relief

I am a tenant in San Francisco and need legal assistance. How do I get in touch?

Please call (415) 896-1701 to speak with our front desk staff and leave a message. ALC is committed providing legal help in our clients’ preferred languages.

If you receive an eviction complaint (lawsuit) or a notice to quit, you can also call the Eviction Defense Collaborative's legal assistance line at (415) 659-9184 or email legal@evictiondefense.org.

You can also find information about your housing rights and answers to frequently asked questions.

I am a tenant in San Francisco dealing with landlord harassment. Who can help me determine next steps?

Please call (415) 896-1701 to speak with our front desk staff and leave a message. ALC is committed to providing legal help in our clients’ preferred languages.

You can also reach out to other Tenant Counseling organizations who may be able to help:

BILL SORRO HOUSING PROGRAM (BiSHoP)
Phone counseling only: Please call (415) 513-5177 or email info@bishopsf.org and leave your name, phone number, the reason for your call, and the best time to reach you at and a housing counselor will follow up with you.

Languages: English, Arabic, Spanish, French

CHINATOWN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CENTER (CDCC)
In-person clinic still available, but please call if possible: 415-984-2728. Leave your name, phone number and a counselor will return your call.

Drop-in clinic Mondays from 2-4pm & Thursdays 10:30am-2:30pm, 663 Clay Street San Francisco.

Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, English

CAUSA JUSTA::JUST CAUSE (CJJC)
Phone counseling only: Leave a voicemail at 415-487-9203 with your name, phone number, and a brief description of your problem. A counselor will call you back as soon as possible.

Languages: Spanish, English


HOUSING RIGHTS COMMITTEE OF SF (HRCSF)

Phone counseling only: Please call the numbers below and leave a message with your name, number, let us know if you are a HUD tenant or have Section 8 and a brief sentence about your issue:

Mission Office – (415) 703-8634 (callbacks 1-5pm Mon- Thurs)
Languages: English, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin

Westside Office – (415) 947-9085 (callbacks 9am-12pm Mon, Wed-Fri; closed Tues)
Languages: English, Russian, Cantonese and Mandarin


SOUTH OF MARKET COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK (SOMCAN)

Phone counseling only, Monday-Friday, 10AM-6PM by appointment only.

Appointments must be scheduled at least one day in advance. To schedule an appointment, please call or send a text message to (650) 273-6713. Appointments can also be scheduled here or send an email to tenantcounselor@somcan.org. Please leave your name, phone number, and a short message about your situation.

Languages: English, Tagalog

Surveillance, Profiling, and Immigration Barriers

I'm getting questions from police, FBI, DHS, or other government agents. I’ve been asked to meet with a special agent from Homeland Security Investigations for a “routine visa audit.” What are my rights?

We provide free intakes to assist with government questioning, harassment, and surveillance; problems when entering the U.S.; and problems boarding flights. To schedule an appointment, please call (415) 896-1701.

Our team created a pamphlet about your rights if you are stopped by the FBI or law enforcement. You can read the pamphlet in English, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Farsi, Pashto, Punjabi, and Urdu.

The ACLU created a pamphlet about people’s rights if you are stopped by the police, immigration agents, or the FBI. You can read the pamphlet in English, Farsi, Indonesian, Bahasa, Somali, Tagalog, Urdu, Chinese, and Arabic.

Our team also created a resource with ACLU and CAIR to help community members know your rights if the FBI contacts you or knocks on your door. You can read about your rights in English, Arabic, and Farsi.

I applied for citizenship and it has been 2+ years with no changes to my status. What are my options?

We provide free intakes to assess whether the delay in your application for citizenship is unusual and may be able to help expedite a resolution. To schedule an appointment, please call (415) 896-1701.

I’m a member of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and/or South Asian communities. How can I learn about my rights?

To schedule an appointment during one of our free legal clinics, please call (415) 896-1701. You can also learn about your rights in a pamphlet our team created with ACLU and CAIR California. The pamphlet is available in English, Arabic, and Farsi. Our partners at CLEAR also created a guide to help Muslim communities know their rights while traveling by plane, which is available in English, Arabic, Bangla, and Urdu.

Workers' Rights

I'm struggling with unpaid wages, wrongful termination, or unemployment insurance benefits. What can I do?

We provide free and confidential legal consultations to low-income workers throughout California, including undocumented workers and workers with limited English proficiency. In some limited cases, we are able to provide legal representation. To schedule an appointment, please call (415) 896-1701.

I'm facing discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or health and safety concerns at my job. How can I get help?

We provide free and confidential legal consultations to low-income workers throughout California, including undocumented workers and workers with limited English proficiency. In some limited cases, we are able to provide legal representation. To schedule an appointment, please call (415) 896-1701.

Immigrant Rights, Detention, and Deportation

I know someone who was arrested by ICE after contact with local or state law enforcement. How can I get some help?

If someone was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after contact with the police or after leaving prison or jail, please call us at (415) 896-1701. If you live in California, you can also call your local rapid response hotline.

What types of immigration legal services do you provide?

ALC provides consultations and representation to immigrants facing detention or deportation by ICE due to criminal convictions, with a focus on Bay Area and Central Valley residents. Unfortunately, we generally do not take asylum cases or provide assistance with applying for immigration benefits with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Please contact us here or call (415) 896-1701 if you are facing detention or deportation due to a criminal conviction and let us know if you have immigration court documents and/or conviction records. If you do not have your paperwork, you can use our guide to request your records from the immigration agencies and criminal court.

You can also use the National Immigration Legal Services Directory to find an immigration nonprofit near you. If you are looking for a private immigration attorney, you can contact the Bar Association of San Francisco or the bar association for your county to request referrals.

I have a conviction and I’m interested in applying for a pardon or a commutation. Can you help?

A pardon restores rights, such as the ability to obtain a professional license. In some cases, a pardon can also prevent deportation. Read our Guide to California Pardons to learn more about the process for applying for a pardon.

People serving a sentence for a criminal conviction can petition the California Governor to have their sentences commuted. Read the California Coalition for Women Prisoners Guide to Commutations for more information about applying for a commutation.

Please call (415) 896-1701 if you have questions about your pardon or commutation application.

I have a loved one who is incarcerated in a California State Prison and has questions about their immigration status. Who should I contact?

Please advise your loved one to write our office directly at Asian Law Caucus, 55 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94111 and request an intake form.

How to Vote in California

How do I know if I’m eligible to vote?

You can vote in this election if you are a U.S. Citizen, a resident of California, 18 years old or older on Election Day, not currently serving a state or federal prison term for the conviction of a felony, and not found by a court to be “mentally incompetent”. You can pre-register to vote if you are 16 or 17.

How do I register to vote?

You can register online at registertovote.ca.gov or get a form at the DMV, post office, library, or your county elections office. If you are registering within 15 days of an election, you can register at either your local election office or at a poll site up to and on Election Day. If you are already registered to vote, visit voterstatus.sos.ca.gov to make sure all of your information is correct.

I have a family member who does not speak or read English. Can they still register to vote?

Yes. You can register to vote in California in up to 10 languages at registertovote.ca.gov.

This includes the following languages: English, Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.

I have a family member who does not speak or read English. Can they still access the Voter Information Guide?

Yes. In California, you can access the Voter Information Guide in English, Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese. Audio options are available in each of these languages as well.

I won’t be able to vote in-person on Election Day. Is there any other way to turn in my ballot?

Yes, registered voters in California now receive a ballot in the mail a month before the election. You have 3 choices for how to vote: vote by mail, drop it off, and vote in person.

VOTE BY MAIL: You can mail your ballot - postage is prepaid! Don’t forget to sign and date the ballot envelope. This is essential. Make sure your ballot is postmarked on or before Election Day.

DROP IT OFF: You can drop off your ballot at any secure location. Don’t forget to sign and date the ballot envelope. Find a list of the drop box locations in your county by looking at your county elections website. Make sure you drop off your ballot by 8pm on Election Day.

VOTE IN PERSON: You can vote in person at your assigned polling place (traditional counties) or any Vote Center in your county of residence (VCA counties).

If I drop off my ballot in a drop box or in the mail, how do you know if the elections office received it?

You can track the status of your ballot by signing up for an account with WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov. You will receive automatic updates when your ballot is mailed to you, received by the county, counted by the county, and if any issues with your ballot are flagged.

I have a family member who does not speak English. Can I help them translate their ballot at the polls?

Yes. Your family member can bring up to 2 people to help them vote, as long as they do not represent their employer or union. This person is allowed to help them by interpreting/translating the language on your ballot.

My friend does not speak English and I am not available to help them translate their ballot. Is there language assistance available at the polls?

Yes. There may be bilingual poll workers or a phone hotline available for select languages. There may be translated votable ballots or translated reference ballots available in languages other than English.

(800) 345-VOTE (8683) – English

(800) 232-VOTA (8682) - Español / Spanish

(800) 339-2857 - 中文 / Chinese

(888) 345-2692 - हिन्दी / Hindi

(800) 339-2865 - 日本語 / Japanese

(888) 345-4917 - ខ្មែរ / Khmer

(866) 575-1558 - 한국어 / Korean

(800) 339-2957 - Tagalog

(855) 345-3933 - ภาษาไทย / Thai

(800) 339-8163 - Việt ngữ / Vietnamese