As you embark on a new life in the United States of America (U.S.), it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the laws of the country. U.S. laws protect the rights and freedoms of the individual while protecting the rights of the whole society. There are two types of laws forming the basis of the U.S. judicial system: criminal laws and civil laws. Criminal and civil laws are designed to set limits on the behavior of the individual in relation to the rest of society and to protect society as a whole.
Whenever you need legal counsel, advice or assistance, make sure that you have personal confidence in the lawyer you hire or who is assigned to you. Get names of possible lawyers from trusted friends and organizations.
There are also not-for-profit organizations that provide legal services. One good place to start is CARPLS, Cook County’s Legal Aid Hotline, which can be reached at 312-738-9200. The Chicago Bar Association website can also help you find affordable legal guidance.
Assistance with Immigration
Before you pay for immigration services, know your rights! Click to learn more in English or Spanish. If you believe you or someone you know may have been the victim of fraud, please call 311 to report this.
If you are seeking immigration assistance, learn more about the rules and regulations governing immigration assistance providers.
The National Immigrant Justice Center provides direct legal services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Legal consultations are offered at their offices (208 S. LaSalle, Suite 1300), but an appointment is required. NIJC also publishes guides on immigrant rights, available here.