MONTICELLO – The path to lawful status can often be a long and difficult journey and one that has become increasingly complicated for immigrants. To help clear some of the confusion, dispel rumors, and provide accurate information, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York recently hosted an Immigration Information Session and Legal Clinic at St. Peter’s Church on Liberty Street in Monticello.
A team of Catholic Charities attorneys worked with volunteers, many of whom were bilingual, to provide 95 immigrants with free legal consultations, as well as access to services and resources for immigrant families. The day’s events also included a “Know Your Rights” training program to help immigrants understand what they can and should do if they are contacted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The 22 volunteers provided 143 hours of service offering translation assistance and moral support while they gathered background information from the clinic attendees so that the legal team had the information necessary to provide the most appropriate advice and options.
“The success of the Catholic Charities Immigration Clinic in Monticello was thanks to the hard work and dedication of our experienced staff and volunteers,” said Maryann Tharappel, Special Projects Director, Immigrant & Refugee Services, Catholic Charities. “The legal team provided valuable information and advice for those seeking assistance with their immigration status, and the volunteers provided a warm heart and listening ear to help those in need have their voices heard. This was a great display of care and compassion,” added Ms. Tharappel.
More than 25 individuals were found eligible for immigration benefits and 20 were scheduled for follow-up legal assistance.
Catholic Charities will host the next Immigration Legal Services Clinic on Friday, July 13, at the Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Middletown, from 10 am – 3 pm. This clinic will include free application assistance for Hondurans with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), free application assistance for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Know Your Rights Training, which explains what to do during contact with ICE, information about available services and resources for immigrant families, and free immigration legal consultations for all in need.
To schedule an appointment for the Orange County clinic, call (347) 921-0631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals in need of assistance who are unable to attend the Orange County clinic should contact the Catholic Charities Newburgh Office of Immigration Services office at 845-562-4736, or call Catholic Charities’ Office for New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 for assistance in more than 200 languages.
To find out more about volunteer opportunities with Catholic Charities, visit www.catholiccharitiesnyvolunteer.org.