Immigration in Oakland 

Did you know many recent immigrants don’t ask for help because recent, undocumented immigrants think that there is no help for them because they are not from the United States. Immigrants are people that come from other countries to the United States and weren’t born here. Many immigrants come to Oakland because there are a lot of opportunities here in Oakland compared to other places. However, current citizens  don’t realize the impediment that immigrants have or had to go through. For example, Willian Figueroa, an Oakland resident who immigrated 18 years ago said “When I came to Oakland I had to look for a job in front of Mcdonalds” (Figueroa). He went there because he saw other immigrants just standing there. He did not know there were support systems available. And he did not have a way to even ask for help because he did not know how to speak English. Figueroa had a hard time Adapting to Oakland because it’s so very different from Guatemala but through the years he learned. Based on research and some interviews there are a lot of opportunities in Oakland for immigrants such as free lawyers, and clinics and it is important recent immigrants know about it. 

Did you know that 40% of Americans in the United States can’t afford a lawyer? If Americans can’t afford to pay for lawyers, the number of percentage for recent undocumenteed immigrants would be higher. Firstly, Oakland is very supportive because of its free legal support. For Example, in Justicia Lawyers the website shows Lawyer names with phone numbers and where the lawyers are, so the immigrant can receive the best lawyer. Justicia Lawyer states, “The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are components of the Department of Homeland Security and handle the processing, enforcement, and adjudication of U.S. immigration matters”(Justicia Lawyer). What this is showing is that the lawyers can help with any legal case immigrants have. The lawyers will try their best to help them for free. This is very important for people that have just come from their countries to the United States because many people want help with their cases but they don’t have enough money to pay for a lawyer, to fight for their case. Good thing there’s Justicia Lawyers because they can help immigrants and fight for their rights. 

Another way Oakland supports immigrants besides free legal services is really cheap clinic services. For example, Immigration Institute of the Bay helps immigrants that are eligible for immigration relief. This institute focuses specifically on immigrants. Immigration Institute of the Bay said “People with general immigration questions should come to the Oakland Office’s walk-in General Immigration Clinic every Thursday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. The fee for the general consultation is $30” (Immagration Institute of the Bay). This is shows that immigrants that qualify for Oaklands walk-in clinic, can receive checkups from the price of only $30. This is a really important opportunity for people that qualify for this walk-in clinic because it’s really cheap and many immigrants can stay healthy. Also, immigrants that are in the United States, could check in, to see if they qualify so they can receive the check ups because when immigrants just come from their countries they often don’t have a lot of money and they need help.

On the contrary if Oakland didn’t have Free lawyers and cheap clinic services, immigrants would feel degraded. For instance, Willian Figueroa a Oakland citizen, for 18 years shares, “When I first got to Oakland I didn’t have somewhere to stay” (Figueroa). Oakland, when Figueroa arrived, excluded recent undocumented immigrants. Figueroa had to pay for rent the first day he came to Oakland, what he had to do was borrow money and pay later on when he did have money. This is a problem because immigrants already have to pay, the person that brought them through the desert all the way to the United States. And then, immigrants have to also borrow money to live in Oakland because they do not have money, but need a roof over their head to make money. Now, Oakland is a proponent of internet services has more and other cities should learn from them.

In conclusion, Based on research and interviews there are a lot of opportunities in Oakland for immigrants such as free lawyers, and clinics. Oakland cares about everyone, the homeless, immigrants, children.. Immigrants are not aliens they are humans and should get the help immigrants need. 

Annotated Bibliography

“Oakland Immigration Legal Aid & Pro Bono Services – Justia California Lawyer Directory.” Oakland Immigration Legal Aid & Pro Bono Services – Justia California Lawyer Directory,

 Justia California Lawyer Directory gives you information of lawyers so recent undocumented immigrants can get a lawyer that can help them with their legal case in oakland. This did not pass crap test but I believe it’s still good information because it didn’t have an author but the thing is that since it is an organization its not one person, it’s a lot of people. Then, it doesn’t say when the information of the lawyers was published, but immigrants can still get help because they do answer. This connects to my topic because immigrants get free lawyers for their legal cases. 

“Oakland.” Immigration Institute of the Bay Area, 

General Immigration Clinic is open from 9:00am to 12:00pm and from 1:00pm to 5:00pm and any immigrant can go to the clinic for the cost of only $30 if they qualify. This website does not pass the craap test because it has no author. There is no Author because it’s also an organization so that means it’s not only one person. There is no published date but its recent because the clinic is open and helping immigrants right now. This connects to my topic because immigrants don’t have a lot of money to get check-ups so this organization helps those immigrants get check-ups for only $30. 

Figueroa, Willian. “Oakland Immigration .” 1 Dec. 2019. 

Willian came to Oakland 18 years ago, and he was also a undocumented immigrant before. Willian’s interview is credible because he has gone through the same things immigrants have or had to go through. Also. he has lived in Oakland for the full 18 years, he has been living in the United States so he knows Oakland very well.



  1. Claudia 4 months ago

    Dear Madelyn,

    I appreciate you taking the time to write this well-written blog post. I found it very inspiring and truly happy to know about the opportunities for immigrants in Oakland. I really liked how you added a statistic about the 40 percent of Americans who cannot afford lawyers and the impact it has on undocumented humans. If Americans can barely afford a lawyer, then its less likely for an immigrant to afford one. I liked how your blog post represents support and resources for hiring a lawyer. I can tell that you spent time researching this topic and gathering information to write this blog. You should be proud of your work. Thank you for being an advocator for the Oakland health clinic for immigrants.
    Thank you! 🙂

  2. Jamie 6 months ago

    Dear Madelyn,
    Hi, my name is Jamie and I am a student at San Jose State University. I enjoyed reading your blog post very much and I thought it was very informative and well-written. I also learned a lot of information about immigration in Oakland from your post that I never knew before. One thing that I found interesting in your post was when you talked about Oakland having affordable health clinics for immigrants and possibly being able to have free check-ins. I think the city of Oakland having that clinic is incredibly important and really inspiring for other communities to see and hopefully follow suit with what they are doing. Thank you for posting and being very informative about immigration in Oakland I learned a lot.

  3. Deb 7 months ago

    I can tell from your writing that you are very passionate about the rights of immigrants and providing them with the services and support they need to be successful in their new home country. I especially enjoyed the interview quotes and real-life experiences you provided from Mr. Figeroa, who was an undocumented immigrant to Oakland almost 20 years ago. Including his real-world experience helped to humanize the immigration topic, and the struggles he had in earning money, finding a place to live and just surviving in a place where he didn’t even speak the language. I can’t imagine how I would have handled a situation like that.

    I wonder how a recent immigrant, who may not speak English or even have access to the Internet, might be able to find out about the services Oakland, or any other city, has for them? If you continue researching this issue, I would be interested in how Oakland gets that information out to the immigrants in the community. Do they have community members who can speak different languages and go out to areas where immigrants live and talk to them? Do they have any type of community event where immigrants can learn about what is available to them?

    Congratulations on bringing to light the human side of immigration and the resources that your city of Oakland provides for its immigrants. You have opened my eyes to the struggles all immigrants face when coming to a new country and made me wonder what my state of New Jersey provides for its immigrants.

  4. Zachary Hertel-Therrien 7 months ago

    Hi Madelyn, I really enjoyed reading through your article. You did an excellent job of showing how Oakland is building community by providing needed services for immigrants such as legal counsel and affordable clinic services. I especially like that you went directly to the services being provided to get information for your article. I live in Massachusetts and am not too familiar with Oakland and was curious if there were other similar supports for immigrants such as resources to try to find a job.

  5. Jennifer 9 months ago


    I was thrilled to read your blog and now that I got the chance to, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about immigration, specifically in Oakland. One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Good thing there’s Justicia Lawyers because they can help immigrants and fight for their rights.” I think this is useful because it makes readers realize that “immigrants” are not alone and have lots of support. Another sentence that caught my attention was: “Oakland cares about everyone, the homeless, immigrants, children…” This stood out to me because it informed me that Oakland is a united community where they all support each other regardless of their looks, culture, home etc. Anyways thanks for sharing your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because you made me learn a lot; not just about immigration but how Oakland makes sure everyone is safe and how united they are. Again, thank you for sharing this piece of writing and I hope I see more of your writing.

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