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Service Opportunities

The following organizations, which have worked with the UCSD Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, provide services, shelter, and other material assistance to low-income immigrants and refugees in San Diego County and/or Baja California. They welcome volunteers in various roles. For further information, contact the organization directly:

American Friends Service Committee

3850 Westgate
San Diego, CA 92105
Tel#: (619) 233-4114
Fax#: (619) 233-6247
Contact Person: Christián Ramírez, Program Director

San Diego branch of a national organization that provides legal services to immigrants and monitors human rights violations occurring in the San Diego/Tijuana border area.

American Immigration Lawyers Association (San Diego Chapter)

c/o Larrabee and Zimmerman, LLP
P.O. Box 919016
San Diego, CA 92191-9016
Tel#: (858) 642-0420
Fax#: (858) 642-0431
Contact person:  Sharon R.Mehlman , Chair

San Diego branch of a national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice.

Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition

San Diego, Calif.
Tel#: (619) 336-0770
Contact person:  Brian McGoldrick , Staff Attorney

The Coalition seeks student volunteers to assist in: (1) creating a legal network of volunteers and pro bono attorneys to help with representing victims of human trafficking, including intake, assistance with immigration visa needs, and dealing with any pending criminal violations and ultimately civil remedies provided by state and federal law; (2) creating a legal resource center on human trafficking for use by attorneys, law enforcement and social service providers; (3) developing educational tools for community and ethnic organizations to help identify victims of trafficking; (4) working both nationally and internationally to develop laws criminalizing human trafficking.

California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

15 South Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054
Tel#: (760) 966-0511
Fax#: (760) 966-0291
Contact person: Claudia Smith, Executive Director

The Foundation monitors the activities of the Border Patrol and advocates protection of migrants’ rights.

Casa Cornelia Law Center

315 Laurel Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel#: (619) 231-7788
Fax#: (619) 231-7784
Contact person: Carmen Chavez, Executive Director

The Center offers legal services to undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence. It also provides services for those who are seeking political asylum. In addition, it offers representation to unaccompanied minors who are in INS detention.

Casa del Migrante en Tijuana, A.C. (Centro Scalabrini)

Calle Galileo 239, Col. Postal
Tijuana, B.C. 22350
Address in San Diego:
P.O. Box 430387
San Diego, CA 92143
Tel#: (011-526) 682-51-80
Fax#: 682-6358
Contact persons: Padre.Luis Kendzierski, Program Director; Hno. Gioacchino Campese, C.S., Sub-Director

Provides temporary lodging and food to migrants in Tijuana.

Casa Familiar

Tel#: (619) 428-1115
Fax#: (619) 428-2802
Contact person: Andrea Palacios Skorepa

Provides a wide range of social services to youths and adults (both immigrants and U.S.-born residents) in the community of San Ysidro, south of downtown San Diego, on the border with Mexico.

Catholic Charities

349 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel#: (619) 231-2828
Fax#: (619) 234-2272
Contact Person: Executive Director: Sister RayMonda DuVall, CHS

Provides material assistance to immigrant families in San Diego.

Centro de Protección Legal

2859 El Cajon Blvd., Ste. 1-C
San Diego, CA92104
Tel#: (619) 584-8424
Contact persons: Marco Cisneros and Silvia González.

Provides assistance to immigrants in filling out forms of various types.

Community Housing Works

4305 University Ave., Suite 550
San Diego, CA 92105
Tel.#: (619) 282-6647, ext. 313
Fax: (619) 640-7119
Contact person: Sue Reynolds, Executive Director

This large NGO provides housing assistance to low-income immigrants and refugees in North San Diego County and in central San Diego; develops new housing projects, provides rental housing, and makes mortgage loans.

The Flying Samaritans

Fallbrook, CA
Tel#: (760) 940-1028
Contact person: Nash Williams

Provides basic medical care to Mexican migrants arriving in Baja California, especially indigenous migrants from Oaxaca and other parts of southern Mexico.  Operates weekend clinics in Ensenada, Rosarito, Tecate, and other Baja California cities. Transportation provided from pick-up points in San Diego County. Translators are especially needed, and students with interest in health care. Click here to read an article on activities.

Las Casitas: Earth Shelter and Solar Power Teaching Initiative

Tel#: (760) 212-0044.
Contact persons (based in Carlsbad): Coleen Lassegard
Anna Hoyle, (760) 796-4220.

Trains homeless migrant farm worker men to serve as future trainers in earth shelter construction methods. Provides farm workers with small solar power kits to enable them to have access to lights, television and cell phone recharging in the camps. Also organizes self-help shelter building projects by migrant farm workers (see for information on the construction technique). Volunteers work on weekends with project trainers and migrants at a demonstration project in Fallbrook.

Interfaith Community Services

550 West Washington Ave., Suite B
Escondido, CA 92025
Tel#: (760) 489-6380, ext. 221
Fax#: (760) 740-0837
Contact Person: Jeannie Winton, Director of Volunteer Services

A non-sectarian social service agency based in northern San Diego County that provides a broad range of social services to immigrants.

International Rescue Committee of San Diego

Megan Baughman | AmeriCorps VIP Volunteer Services
International Rescue Committee in San Diego

5348 University Avenue #205, San Diego, CA 92105 |
TEL: +1 619.641.7510 x272 FAX: +1 619.641.7520

International Rescue Committee Internship Opportunities

JOB (Justice Overcoming Boundaries)

521 E. 8th street
National City, CA 91950
Tel#: (619) 474-8916
Contact person: Rev. Patricia Andrews-Collari

A San Diego county wide inter faith community organization that seeks to promote equity and justice. Affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation.

La Maestra Family Clinic

4185 Fairmont Ave.
San Diego, CA 92105
Tel#: (619) 280-1105; 285-8134
Contact person: Zara Marselian, Executive Director

A non-profit community clinic in downtown San Diego that treats 80-100 immigrants per day for a wide range of medical problems.

Latino Integration

701-B Seagaze Drive
Oceanside, CA
Tel#: (760) 721-1723 – Direct line (760) 500-9922
Contact person: Gracie Fusaro, co-founder

A non-profit organization that helps Spanish-speaking immigrants to navigate many kinds of legal paperwork required by public agencies and private businesses.

Migrant Workers Lunch Program

Solana Beach Presbyterian Church
Lomas Santa Fe & Stevens Blvd.
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Tel#: (858) 509-2581
Contact persons: Pastor Galdino Don Juan

The program distributes lunches to 150-200 homeless migrant workers each week in Carmel Valley, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Solana Beach.

Prins Asylum Program

Jewish Family Service of San Diego
8804 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123
Tel #: 858-637-3038
Fax#: 858-637-3031
Contact person: Tammy Lin, Esq., Prins Immigration Attorney

This program provides legal representation to those who are seeking political asylum. Individuals must be a professional, musician, artist, scholar, or scientist to qualify for program. This organization also resettles refugees and provides case management assistance to new refugees and asylees.

San Diego County Medical Society Alliance

3130 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
Tel#: (619) 298-4782
Contact persons: Alicia Munoz, co-President; Rodrigo Munoz

This organization helps immigrants to navigate the health care system in San Diego County.

San Diego Human Relations Commission

Central San Diego
Tel #: (619) 236-6413
Contact person: Kathleen Dene, Assistant Executive Director

The Commission is an agency of the City of San Diego that works with community groups, public and private agencies, and law enforcement to address issues of interracial, inter-religious, and intercultural conflict, including domestic violence affecting immigrant and refugee women.

San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program

San Diego
Tel#: (619) 235-5656, x110, x115.
Contact persons: Cheryl Martínez and Rebeca Pedroza.

Offers pro bono legal services to immigrants, low income clients and battered immigrant women. Always looking for motivated volunteers to help with clinics and conduct research.

1st Special Response Group

San Francisco Bay area, but operates in “virtual” manner throughout California
Tel#: (650) 618-1499
Contact person: David Kovar
Moffett Federal Airfield
Moffett Field, CA 94035-0230

This NGO provides international search and rescue services. They are launching a project to rescue undocumented migrants from death in southwestern desert areas and welcome interns based in San Diego.

Survivors of Torture, International

P.O. Box 151240
San Diego, CA 92175-1240
Tel#: (619) 278-2400
Fax#: (619) 294-9405
Contact persons: Kathi Anderson, Executive Director

Provides psychological counseling, social services and case management to asylum seekers and refugees who are torture survivors from around the world.

The Border Angels

2258 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92102
Phone Number: (619) 487-0249
Contact person: Dulce Aquirre

In summer, maintains water stations in the Imperial Valley desert to avert migrant deaths due to dehydration and heatstroke; in winter, set up storage bins with heavy clothing, food and water in mountain areas of San Diego County to reduce deaths due to exposure and hypothermia. Volunteers are welcome every weekend during the applicable seasons.