Carlos Batara – Immigration Lawyer header image

About Carlos Batara

You probably landed here to find out if Carlos Batara is the right attorney for you and your family. Or maybe you just want to figure out how he is different from all those other lawyers.

Well, read on. We think you’ll decide, even if you don’t hire our office, that Carlos is uniquely qualified to guide you even in the most challenging immigration situations.

His background, education, experience, and skills, after all, make him a one-of-a-kind advocate for immigrants.


Most folks know very little about their attorneys.

If you become my client, I need to ask a lot of questions about your life. I assume you’d like to know some details about mine.

Let’s get started.


I attended the University of Southern California (USC) on a Ford Foundation Fellowship, earning degrees in International Relations and Economics. While at USC I was a member in the International Students Association. I hosted students from Iran, Russia, Chili, and Germany.

I earned my law degree at Harvard Law School, which I had the fantastic fortune of also attending on a scholarship. As part of my legal studies, I took several courses in International Law and worked closely with the International Law Students Association on various projects. I participated in Harvard Law School’s joint venture with Tufts University’s Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy.

Since I enjoyed learning about different cultures and countries, I thought about becoming a foreign service officer.  At the time I did not realize how valuable my international relations and diplomacy education would one day serve immigration clients from across the globe.

At Harvard, our professors emphasized understanding not just the law, but the logic and policy of the law. One professor taught us, “The law is the law, until you change it.” Good lawyers, we were told, know how to challenge bad laws with reason and logic. These principles are especially relevant to today’s practice of immigration law.

— Carlos Batara

Experience And Training

I opened my first law office in San Diego in 1993. I began practicing immigration law immediately – helping clients win their green cards, lawful permanent residence, naturalization, and citizenship cases. Within two years I opened a second office in Escondido, California.

Requests for our assistance continued to grow. After winning some tough cases in San Diego and Escondido, I decided to expand our services into Riverside County, and shortly later, into other parts of the Inland Empire. Today, we have six office locations, five in the Southern California region and one in Arizona.

My offices have handled legal matters for clients from over 125 different countries.  I could not have scripted a better career than what I have today – the opportunity to help families, and to learn from the richness of cultures, from all corners of the world.

My goal is to assist at least one family from every nation in the world before I call it quits.

From my beginning days as a lawyer, I have placed a special focus on helping clients facing deportation and removal – immigration trials, deportation appeals, and complex cases. We’ve won several cases after other lawyers told clients they had no chance to prevail. Giving up prematurely was not how I was raised.

As an immigration attorney, my practice is now nationwide. I have helped clients residing not just in California – but also in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.


I bring a multicultural background to my immigration law practice. I’m proud of my heritage. And I strongly dislike laws which discriminate against human beings based on their place of birth or cultural upbringing.

“My father was a farm worker when he first arrived in this country from the Philippines. He later became a dishwasher and kitchen helper at a Chinese restaurant. Like many immigrants, he worked long days at minimum wage. He was not paid overtime and was only allowed two days off per year, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

My mother, a U.S. citizen, had family roots in both Mexico and Spain, as well as Native American, Greek, and Turkish ancestry. She, too, worked long hours with no benefits. After she stopped working as a factory worker, she became a housemaid and personal chef for various homes. She, like my father, rode the bus to work every day.  Our family never owned a car.

Yet, they never complained and always gave their best for their employers, their family, and their community. My parents taught me to value hard work. Over and over again they encouraged me, “Always do your best.”

When I started attending college, my parents recommended I choose a career where I would be able to give my best everyday. I became a lawyer.

This is a special honor – an honor which comes with many obligations and responsibilities. I may not be able to guarantee the outcomes of cases. But I promise to always do my best.”

— Carlos Batara

Professional And Civic Activities

I have been active in civic affairs since my teenage years. While in college, I was specially trained as a community organizer by Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. For many years, before and after law school, I used these skills to coordinate local, state, and national political campaigns.

After law school, I was recruited to create a community-based program to combat adult illiteracy by the State of California. Based on the program’s success, other projects were given birth throughout the state. The program received numerous accolades.

For my efforts, I was given “The Key To The City” by the City Council of National City, where the pilot program began. Little did people know that I had privately dedicated the undertaking to my father, who did not know how to read or write in English.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, I worked in the arena of politics as a legislative assistant and public relations specialist. I served on local, state, and federal government boards and commissions. During this same period, as an adjunct college professor, I was selected to design and teach courses on Constitutional Law and Political Science for Honors Students.

These activities have broadened my understanding of issues that affect immigrant families – beyond just law – an understanding which helps me to better protect, counsel, and guide immigrants past obstacles they face day-to-day as they seek to become lawful permanent residents and citizens of the United States.

Wiley W. Manuel Award, Pro Bono Services, California State Bar Association
Key to the City, City of National City
Citizen of the Month, City of Chula Vista
Who’s Who Among American Lawyers

Founder and Director, PROJECT READ, Adult Literacy Program
Professor, Honors Curriculum, San Diego Community College District
Board of Directors, YMCA
Legislative Assistant, San Diego City Council
Charter Review Commissioner, City of Chula Vista

American Immigration Lawyers Association
Chairperson, Immigration Law Committee, American Bar Association, Solo and Small Firm Division
California Public Defenders Association
California State Bar Association

Community And Family

When it comes to helping immigrants, I do not believe being a lawyer is enough.

Thus, I voluntarily sponsor annual citizenship drives and monthly local training forums on  immigration issues in the Southern California area. A few years back, I was honored to be elected as the American Bar Association National Chairperson of the Solo and Small Firm Immigration Law Committee.

I author fairly popular blog posts on immigration law, politics, and policy, which attempt to provide unique, authentic, and sometimes controversial insights about immigration news, events, and rules.

Recently, I kicked off a talk show, “Immigration Live,” featuring grassroots leaders and immigrants sharing insights to help guide you, your family, and your friends on the journey to immigration success.

I live in Riverside County with my wife and two young children. My oldest son is also a lawyer and manages our San Diego and Escondido law offices.

When time permits, I enjoy jogging, backyard barbecues, and playing basketball. I like to read, of course, and my favorites are political essays, social nonfiction, and world literature.

Last but not least, I love music and, as you might suspect, I am a strong supporter of USC Trojans football and sports.

So now that you know more about me, why not call for your
personalized strategy and planning session today?