CMS Case Featured on NBC

A recent report by NBC 4 on the increased number of unaccompanied minors arriving in NYC from Central America featured CMS and one of our clients, a 10 year old boy named Carlos.  This story highlights the critical legal services provided by CMS to the most vulnerable immigrants in Brooklyn and Queens.  As explained by CMS staff attorney Jose Leon, these cases are particularly challenging because of limited options for legal relief available to children who are in deportation and removal proceedings.  Our office plays an important role in responding to the needs of young migrants who often seek assistance from their local parish after arriving in the Diocese.  CMS’ network of pastors and lay leaders among the hundreds of Catholic parishes in Brooklyn and Queens serves as unique resource for us as we carry out our mission of serving newcomers.  For more information about our removal defense program, please contact our Brooklyn office at 718 236 3000.  To view the NBC 4 report, click here.

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CMS Continues Chinese Outreach

On Sunday July 13, more than thirty members of the Chinese immigrant community in Sunset Park, Brooklyn attended a presentation on CMS’ legal services programs.  Following the presentation, CMS staff provided free legal consultations to individuals and families in immigration, housing and employment law matters.  This event was part of our continued to effort to increase the visibility and accessibility of our programs throughout the Diocese.  Special thanks to our summer legal interns Mary Dolan and Ying Li, as well as law student volunteer Julina Guo, for helping to organize and staff this event.  Additionally, many thanks to the extraordinary volunteers of St. Rosalia and Our Lady of Perpetual Help parishes and Father Vincentius Do who have provided critical support to this project.

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CMS Informs Members of Central Hispanio Cuzcatlan about Tenants Rights

On Tuesday, June 24th CMS' Staff Attorney Kenny Minaya and Community Outreach Coordinator Virginia Thomas attended the second monthly Central Hispanio Cuzcatlan which was held at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish. Kenny presented information to members about their rights as tenants. (more…)

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CMS and its Housing Coalition Partners Participate in the Rent Guidelines Board’s Public Hearing


Tenants rally before the final vote in Cooper Union Square .

On Monday June 23rd the Rent Guidelines Board voted for a one percent increase on one-year leases and a 2.75 percent on two-year leases . The proposal passed by a 5 to 4 vote. The increases take effect on leases signed after October 1st.

Prior to the vote on Monday, on (more…)

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CMS Informs the Chinese Speaking Parishioners at St.Rosalia’s Church

Chinese Outreach St Rosalia #1On Sunday, June 15 CMS attorneys, staff and legal interns led an informational session for the Chinese speaking community of St. Rosalia’s church in Brooklyn. Parishioners learned about CMS’ 3 legal services and they learned about how the Chinese speaking community can access our free legal services. (more…)

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CMS and its Coalition Partners Receive Information about Housing Discrimination

QHC MayOn Wednesday May28th CMS and its coalition partners informed members about reporting housing discrimination and work place safety. Members also received information about a new opportunity for immigrants to share their experiences through technology.

The meeting began with Director at the New York City Commission on Human Rights, Ted Finkelstein who explained housing discrimination and the process through which tenants can report it. The NYC Commission on Human Rights protects individuals from discrimination in housing, prohibiting discriminatory practices that unfairly limit the housing choices of protected groups or individuals. The Commission on Human Rights offers free walk in services for the public to file a complaint if they have been a victim of discrimination in NYC. The office also covers employment discrimination, public accommodation discrimination, and bias-related harassment and protects the public against retaliation. Ted emphasized that landlords cannot discriminant against people with Section 8 or people who are undocumented. (more…)

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CMS Demystifies Housing Court for Centro Hispano Cuzcatlan Members

Kenny CHC

Kenny answers a members questions about her rights as a tenant.

On Tuesday May 27th CMS’ Staff Attorney Kenny Minaya and Community Outreach Coordinator Virginia Thomas attended an information meeting for Centro Hispano Cuzcatlan members. During the meeting civil rights and criminal defense attorney Nasreeen F. Syed spoke about the impact of criminal records on immigration processes. Kenny informed members about their rights as tenants and what to expect if they are required to go to housing court.

The meeting was led by former Queens Housing Coalition Coordinator Ivan Contreras and Centro Hispano Cuzcatlan staff member Fabiola Arripre. Nasreen emphasized that any contact with the criminal justice system should be taken seriously and requires competent representation as a criminal case and as an immigration case as a result of the complication that may arise. (more…)

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