CMS Parish Outreach in Full Swing

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CMS is currently conducting outreach for our legal services programs in parishes throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Thus far we have distributed important information and provided consultations to hundreds of parishioners at  St. Margaret Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Sts. Joachim and Anne, St. Joan of Arc, St. Agatha, St. Teresa, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Leo, and Corpus Christi. We have staff on site ready to assist parishioners and provide information about our housing, immigration, and labor programs. CMS is working to increase accessibility by offering critical legal services to people who may otherwise not have the ability to come into our office during business hours. We will continue to conduct outreach in parishes across Brooklyn and Queens every Sunday through November.

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Time Warner Hosts CMS’ Fall Benefit Event

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On September 18, friends and supporters of Catholic Migration Services gathered at the offices of Time Warner, Inc. at Columbus Circle to enjoy beautiful views of Central Park and celebrate CMS’ legal services programs.  For the fifth consecutive year, Time Warner, Inc. generously sponsored CMS’ Fall Benefit which is an important source of financial support for the organization.  Attendees were welcomed by Time Warner, Inc. attorney Kwanza Butler who expressed Time Warner’s commitment to pro bono work and civic engagement including its relationship with CMS.  CMS is thankful for its partnership with Time Warner, Inc. and for the support of all those who contributed to make the Fall Benefit event a success.  For more information on how you can donate to CMS, please click here.

 

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CMS Weekly Outreach at St. Catherine of Alexandria and Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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CMS staff Xiomara Bustamante (on the right) works with parishioner at St. Catherine of Alexandria.

On Sunday, September 14th CMS staff conducted outreach at two different parishes in Queens and Brooklyn. Staff Alexina Delvecchio, Rebecca Rybaltowski, and Xiomara Bustamante attended service at St. Catherine of Alexandria in Brooklyn and after Mass answered questions and conducted consultations for over 20 parishioners. At Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria CMS staff Jennifer Park, Nancy Pardo, and Chris Holtz attended both English and Spanish Mass and were able to provide legal services to over 25 parishioners.  CMS will be attending weekly Masses across Queens and Brooklyn this fall to provide immigration, labor, and tenant rights information and consultations.

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CMS Kick Starts Parish Outreach

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CMS Outreach Assistant Rebecca Rybaltowski at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish

On September 7th CMS Outreach Assistant Rebecca Rybaltowski attended the Fidelis Community Resource Fair at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Corona. This successful event helped CMS reach out to many people who were interested in immigration matters and learn about the services that CMS provides. Several organizations that partner with CMS, including Faith in NY, NICE, Catholic Charities, New York Family Justice Center, Fidelis, Grameen VidaSana, and Queens Immigrants United were at the event and reached out to over 2,000 parishioners who attended the fair. This fair hosted by Fidelis Health Care helped to increase the scope of knowledge and access to valuable resources and services available to community members.

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CMS Partners with AAANY

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Staff of CMS and AAANY partner together to provide legal services.

CMS is collaborating with the Arab-American Association of New York (AAANY) to make free legal services more accessible to the Arabic-speaking community in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  AAANY is a social services organization serving the Arab immigrant community to adjust to their new home in New York.  Their services include ESL and citizenship classes, public benefits eligibility screening, job application and resume assistance, youth programs, and leading advocacy efforts in a variety of campaigns.

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CMS Gears Up for 2014-2015 Community Meetings

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Immigrant Tenant Advocacy Program staff members (from left to right) Lorena Lopez, Kenny Minaya, and Mariam Magar.

For more than three years, CMS has sponsored the largest regularly occurring tenants meeting in New York City. We will resume our monthly meetings beginning September 24th and continue through 2014-2015. This year’s community meeting program promises to be impactful and inspiring as we connect community members to important issue campaigns and critical services and build lasting relationships.

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Labor Rights Week

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CMS Staff Attorney Alice Davis discusses the Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program.

On August 21st, the Mexican Consulate hosted a press conference for their annual Labor Rights Week, taking place August 25th through August 29th. CMS Staff Attorney Alice Davis spoke about CMS’ Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program and its role in assisting low wage immigrant workers recover unpaid wages and report health and safety violations in their workplaces. The Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program was founded in 2010 in partnership with the Mexican Consulate and various state and federal agencies. It has since recovered over $400,000 through federal litigation, and complaints sent to the New York State and U.S. Departments of Labor.

Other speakers at the press conference included Ambassador Sandra Fuentes Berain, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor, the New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the New York City Comptroller’s Office, and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. The speakers emphasized that all workers have rights, regardless of their immigration status.

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