Posts Tagged ‘Raluca Oncioiu’

Hurray for Our Rising Star!

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

Jessica LazoBy Kristin Jensen

Jessica Lazo, a Migration Counselor at the Catholic Charities New American Opportunity Center in Newburgh, was named a 2015 Orange County Rising Star. The award recognizes up-and-coming professionals under the age of 40 who live, work  or volunteer in Orange County. It’s presented jointly each year by Junior League of Orange County and Leadership Orange.

Jessica has successfully assisted hundreds of Orange County residents with legal advice and applications for immigration benefits, including US citizenship, green cards, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. When the immigration program relocated to the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, Jessica took on the challenge of promoting its services in the community, educating immigrants about their rights, and forging strong relationships with other agencies that serve immigrants.

“Jessica is a tireless and devoted advocate for immigrants’ rights, always going the extra mile for those in need,” said her supervisor Raluca Oncioiu, Director, Immigration Legal Services and Immigration Hotline.”

Homeland Security Announces Big Opportunity for Undocumented Immigrant Youth

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Deferred Action Intake Session-48_editThe Secretary of Homeland Security recently announced that undocumented immigrant youth who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status (DACA) can renew that status for another  two years.

For the past two years, immigrant youth who met specific criteria* including coming to the United States before age 16 and residing continuously in the US since June 15, 2007 have been eligible for DACA status. This allowed them to receive work permits for two years, as well as driver licenses and social security numbers. In some states, they would also be eligible for in-state tuition.

The big news is that those who have already been granted DACA can now apply to extend their DACA status and work permits for an additional two years. Those who qualify but have never applied for DACA before, can continue to apply on a rolling basis. There is no deadline for initial applications.

Sounds complicated?  Call the Catholic Charities–managed New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 for more information and referral to an agency that can help.

Here at Catholic Charities we are prepared to help with the renewal process as well as with enrolling first-time applicants.


Contact us to:

  • Avoid scams.
  • Understand eligibility.
  • Obtain correct information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

*Click here to learn more about DACA eligibility.

“It is crucial to get the correct information about DACA and the renewal or initial application process and, for those who need legal assistance, to obtain referrals to reliable not-for-profit programs that provide free services,” said Raluca Oncioiu, director of Immigration Legal Services for Catholic Charities Community Services.

What You Need to Know About Deferred Action for DREAM Act-Eligible Youth

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that certain young people who meet specific requirements are a low-enforcement priority, and can apply for Deferred Action for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal.

According to Raluca Oncioiu, director of Immigration Legal Services for Catholic Charities Community Services, “Catholic Charities is prepared to engage in community outreach and to provide resources and advice for young people who might be eligible for deferred action while we wait for additional information about the application process to be released [by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service].”

Community-based organizations, schools and GED programs can request a presentation about Deferred Action from Catholic Charities by calling the New York State New Americans Hotline: 1-800-566-7636.

To be considered for deferred action, individuals must:

  • Have come to the United States under the age of 16 and not be above the age of 30.
  • Have resided in the United States continuously for at least five years before June 15, 2012, and have been present in the United States as of June 15, 2012.
  • Be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED certificate or be honorably discharged veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense or multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Understanding Deferred Action:

    • Deferred Action is an administrative action in which DHS decides to defer removal of an individual (prosecutorial discretion).
    • Deferred Action does not confer lawful status .
    • Those who have been granted Deferred Action are eligible to apply for employment authorization, a card issued by the government that can also help an individual obtain a social security number, open a bank account, and obtain a driver’s license .

Find answers to more FAQs on the USCIS website.

More resources (attachments)

“Deferred Action for Undocumented Young People”
“Deferred Action Fact Sheet”

WARNING: No application procedure is currently in place. United States Citizenship and Immigration Service is developing an application procedure which will be announced in August. DO NOT APPLY FOR DEFERRED ACTION BEFORE THE APPLICATION PROCESS IS ANNOUNCED.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline (formerly known as the New York State Immigration Hotline) at 1-800-566-7636 for more information, or to check on whether the application process has been announced.