Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

ABS-CBN News: Tagalog Helpline Provides Legal Assistance to Pinoys

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

LOS ANGELES – After 30 years of defending civil rights, Asian Americans Advancing Justice launched a Tagalog helpline to extend their reach of legal services to the Filipino community in Los Angeles.

"We think this Tagalog legal help will help open up services and provide better opportunities so people can get jobs. We know that Filipino-Americans want to be U.S. citizens. There's a relatively good naturalization rate," said executive director of AAAJ LA Stewart Kwoh.

Formerly known as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the nonprofit has given legal assistance to Asian American in regards to discrimination, human trafficking, and immigration issues.

"This helpline is very welcoming to all the Filipinos out there who need legal assistance and services," said Philippines Vice Consul in LA Dyan Miranda-Pastrana.

AAAJ LA representatives in seven different languages receive an estimated 10,000 calls annually.

"Pwede na kayo tumawag dito kung gusto mo mag apply ng citizenship o may mga legal issues kayo on housing, immigration, family law or domestic violence," said AAAJ representative Jeanette Sanyo. 

Sanyo can also offer legal assistance in Hiligaynon and Cebuano.

Philippine-born Jessica Calazo, who works for the mayor’s office of immigrant affairs, said the helpline brings back memories to when her family was trying to navigate work, housing, and citizenship issues in the US.

"These are all really complicated processes to navigate when you're a new immigrant in this country, especially LA. That's why I think a Tagalog helpline is so important," said Calazo.

The helpline is also meant to assist eligible Filipinos to apply for citizenship during the election year.

Filipinos can call the Tagalog helpline telephone number (855) 300-2552.

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Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI)
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday - Friday

For more information or to apply to DRAI, please call: 

Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese)  (213) 241-8872
Khmer  (213) 241-8877
Korean  (213) 241-8873
Tagalog  (213) 241-8874
Thai  (213) 241-8875
Vietnamese  (213) 241-8876
English/Other, Non-Spanish  (213) 241-8880
Spanish/English** (CARECEN)  (213) 315-2659
Spanish/English** (CHIRLA)  (213) 201-8700
 (213) 395-9547

*This list will continue to expand.
** Spanish assistance available through CARECEN & CHIRLA.
***We are experiencing heavier call volume than usual. We highly encourage you to call your native language phone line, the wait time may be shorter. 

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.