Dec 15, 2021
Diane Martinez and Karla Can
Immigration on the Central Coast

Title of Presentation: Immigration on the Central Coast

Alternative legal representation is often the best, most practical way for individuals and families of modest means to navigate the minefield of U.S. immigration law. Hear how Immigrant Hope Santa Barbara works to help immigrant families on the Central Coast as demand for the small organization’s services continues to grow.


Speaker Bios:

Diane Martinez, IHSB Executive Director
In 2005, Diane Martinez moved to Santa Barbara into the Westside neighborhood. She worked at Santa Barbara City College in the Early Childhood Education program prior to opening the Santa Barbara chapter of Immigrant Hope. She has served as executive director of IHSB since its opening in 2012.

Karla Can, Fully Accredited Representative, IHSB Legal Director
Karla Can is the only Fully Accredited Representative in Santa Barbara County, meaning she is able to act in an attorney capacity for clients in immigration court. Karla Can joined IHSB in 2015 as one of its earliest accredited staffers. A first-generation American whose parents came from Sinaloa, Mexico, she was born and raised in Santa Barbara and studied political science in college.

About Immigrant Hope:
Immigrant Hope is a national faith-based nonprofit that helps eligible immigrants secure pathways to citizenship. The Santa Barbara chapter (IHSB) opened its doors in 2012 on the campus of Shoreline Community Church, providing English and Civics classes for adults who wanted to naturalize to become U.S. Citizens, In 2014, IHSB received recognition from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide legal representations to immigrants putting in applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The organization has continued to expand the classes and services it offers as well as the number of people served. It now has a satellite office in Arroyo Grande. For more information about Immigrant Hope, check out the in-depth cover story in the Independent published last year.