Millions of Immigrants, Refugees, and Religious Workers Have Benefited From CLINIC’s 35-Year History

SILVER SPRING, Maryland - Today, August 18, marks 35 years since CLINIC’s founding by the U.S. Catholic bishops in 1988. 

“Our hearts are full of gratitude as we celebrate this day,” said Anna Gallagher, CLINIC’s executive director. “CLINIC was initially run out of a back office and made up of a network of just 17 community-based organizations. CLINIC’s founders could never have imagined the immense growth of the network, the scope of its work today, and the hundreds of thousands of lives it has touched over the years.” 

Now, the CLINIC network comprises over 450 organizations who together assist over 500,000 low-income immigrant clients each year. We are the largest nonprofit immigration law organization in the country. The demand for immigration legal services is as high as ever, and CLINIC continues to grow and evolve as a response. 

“At CLINIC, we always come back to the why behind our work,” continued Gallagher. “CLINIC’s founders saw the dignity and worth of immigrants in the United States who needed legal support to build better futures, in the wake of the 1986 immigration reform bill. Today, CLINIC continues to protect the rights of immigrants that are enshrined in national and international law and to advocate for more just policy.” 

Over the course of this next year, CLINIC plans to celebrate those who have shaped and driven CLINIC’s work and reflect on how we have and continue to pursue our mission to embrace the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger.