Weather Forecast


Centro Legal closes; cases taken over by Immigrant law Center

ST. PAUL -- The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota plans to take over the bulk of the open cases handled by Centro Legal, which closed this week.

Centro Legal closed because of financial difficulties after providing legal service to the state's Latino community for 28 years.

The two agencies worked closely for years and had considered a merger, but that was not possible because of Centro Legal's substantial financial liabilities, according to a news release from the Immigration Law Center.

Three of the four financial supporters of Centro Legal have agreed to transfer the balance of their grants to the law center.

Centro Legal had more than 200 open cases, and most will be transferred to the law center. Some of Centro Legal's employees will be hired by the law center to ease the transition for clients.

According to the news release, the bulk of these cases include vulnerable clients and their children seeking who have been victims of crime or abuse. Other cases include petitions to reunite families, deportation cases, and cases where clients have been pursing remedies in the immigration system for several years.

Centro Legal assisted a group of Willmar residents who filed suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and local law enforcement after a series of immigration raids in April 2007.