By Alice Kenny
More than 600 people, mostly immigrants desperate for honest information on immigration reform, packed Temple Emanu-El on East 65th Street City for free legal screenings on Sunday, April 12, 2015. Catholic Charities joined fellow not-for-profit immigration service providers and New York City in organizing and staffing this event with over 300 volunteers–including experienced immigration attorneys, administrative staff, interpreters, and law students–to deliver quality advice about immigration options.
The event was held to combat scammers and cheaters including “notarios” (immigration service providers) that have flooded the immigrant community with false promises of help with President Obama’s Executive Action program. But the President’s program is still on hold as opponents duke it out in the courts.
Sunday’s event, considered the first large-scale information/assistance event of its kind in New York City, is our way of fighting back.
“The range of cases was as broad as it was challenging,” says Mario Russell, director of Catholic Charities Immigrant and Refugee Services, “but we seemed to meet so expertly all the questions and needs presented.”
Attendees received clear information in their native tongues about the status of executive action. They also received individual screenings to learn if they may qualify for various types of immigration relief. Screenings focused on President Obama’s proposed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). DACA focuses on those who entered the U.S. before age 16. DAPA focuses on persons without documentation who were here on Jan. 1, 2010 and had a U.S. citizen or permanent resident child born on or before Nov. 20, 2014.
Missed this big event and still need help?
We’re holding free immigration legal screenings across the New York archdiocese.
For more information call Catholic Charities at the free New York State New Americans Hotline at 800- 566-7636.