Oasis Legal Services is a leading service provider to the LGBTQ+ immigrant community on the West Coast, serving over 500 immigrants each year. Based in Berkeley, we provide direct legal services and holistic case management to LGBTQ+ immigrants seeking asylum in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada, as well as legal training, mentorship, and education to attorneys around the country representing LGBTQ+ asylum seekers.
Oasis’ clients are undocumented immigrants, low-income people of color, and victims of hate crimes. All have suffered horrific violence because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or HIV positive status in their countries of origin. Our clients flee their home countries knowing their lives are at risk if they remain.
Many have lived in our communities for years, forced to stay in the closet and unable to access the support they need.
Asylum offers protection from extreme abuse and the threat of death at the hands of homophobia, transphobia, prejudice, and ignorance.
Asylum grants legal status, allowing asylees to become fully engaged members of our communities. With legal status, our clients have the opportunity to legally work in better paying jobs, receive financial aid to attend school, and gain access to medical care and social services. Asylum provides an opportunity to alleviate poverty. Our clients have reported an increased sense of physical and emotional safety, greater financial security, improvement in their health, and a new-found confidence to embrace their LGBTQ+ identity.
Legal representation is crucial and asylum outcomes are greatly impacted by it. In an effort to eliminate barriers to accessing legal aid, we charge a minimal sliding-scale fee and offer pro bono services.
Others are turned away by attorneys and nonprofits who are ill equipped to navigate cases filing past a federally mandated deadline to apply for asylum within one year of arrival in the United States (the one-year bar). Over 80% of Oasis clients have exceeded the one year deadline, and more than 50% have lived in our communities for over ten years.
Our clients suffer from the psychological impact of the trauma they have experienced in their home countries and the continued oppression they face as members of the LGBTQ+ community and undocumented immigrants. Many Oasis clients are also HIV positive, making them even more vulnerable.
Oasis serves over 500 LGBTQ+ immigrants per year, but there are still an estimated 60,000 undocumented LGBTQ+ immigrants in California and more than half a million in the nation as a whole.
Oasis Legal Services
Employer id number (ein)
Address1900 Addison St.