CCLC Announces $8.5 Million Campaign for Immigrants

Created: 16 November, 2018
Last update: 20 April, 2022

By Ana Gomez Salcido

Casa Cornelia Law Center announced their biggest fundraising campaign, an $8.5 million campaign to fund legal services for immigrant children, asylum seekers and victims of crime. The nonprofit law firm providing pro bono legal services to San Diego’s immigrant community kicked off the campaign at their 25th anniversary celebration event, which raised $364,000 toward the goal.
Casa Cornelia Law Center (CCLC) is one of the few organizations in the region that offers pro bono attorneys in humanitarian cases and the only one that represents detained children. The fundraising campaign is to help fund the mounting need for quality representation and programs in today’s legal climate.

More than 600 guests gathered at the nonprofit’s 25th anniversary celebration and raised more than $364,000 – a record-breaking investment to kick off the campaign and support Casa Cornelia’s clients.

“It was heartening to celebrate Casa Cornelia’s 25th anniversary with so many who support our mission to serve victims of human rights violations,” said Ann M. Durst, co-founder of Casa Cornelia.

“While we often focus on the plight of those fleeing persecution, our celebration provided an opportunity to recognize all of the good that has been accomplished over the years and thank those whose generosity made it all possible. All funds raised at the event and throughout the campaign will be critical to help create a San Diego where justice is pursued with compassion.”

The immigration system in the U.S. is a complex process that affects children, women and men, particularly in San Diego. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 3,604 family units were apprehended at the San Diego-Tijuana border, a 30-percent increase from last year.

The organization’s 25th anniversary celebration awarded long-time volunteer attorneys, law firms and community members for their outstanding contributions to the immigrant community in Southern California.

The celebration’s program featured a reception, along with a keynote address from New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Nicholas Kristof.

In order to keep families together and ensure no woman, man or child is living in fear, Casa Cornelia needs to generate significant income in the next three to five years. To meet this need, all proceeds from the 25th anniversary celebration went toward sustaining current programs and maintaining the organization’s quality of legal services.

The newly-announced fundraising campaign aims to secure $8.5-million for annual operating expenses and resources, facility and equipment augmentation and the establishment of a reserve fund to ensure program stabilization for current and future emergent needs, especially in the event government funding is curtailed. The organization has already raised $5.8 million toward that goal, in part to the efforts of their anniversary event. Community members are invited to contribute to the law center’s fundraising campaign at