New York Bar Foundation Presents Grant to Catholic Migration Services

Foundation Board member Martin Minkowitz, center, presents a grant to David Colodny, Director of Legal Services of Catholic Migration Services, left, and Father Patrick Keating, CEO of Catholic Migration Services. Photo: Nancy Pardo

From The New York Bar Foundation: The New York Bar Foundation recently presented a grant of $2,500 to Catholic Migration Services, Brooklyn. The grant will be used to support their Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program.

“Catholic Migration Services greatly appreciates the New York Bar Foundation’s critical support of our Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program,” states Father Patrick Keating. “The Foundation’s grant will support efforts to help low-wage workers who have fallen victim to wage theft, and to help educate hundreds of other workers about their rights in the workplace, such as their right to receive the minimum wage and overtime, and to work in safe conditions.”

In early 2017, The New York Bar Foundation allocated more than $640,000 in grants to programs across New York State. These grants assist in:

  • Increasing public understanding of the law
  • Improving the justice system and the law
  • Facilitating the delivery of legal services
  • Enhancing professional competence and ethics

The New York Bar Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the New York State Bar Association. To learn more about The Foundation and how you can support its charitable programs, go to, phone 518-487-5651 or email


Download this press release as a PDF

Join Us for the Sunset Reception 2017

Catholic Migration Services is honored to host our annual Sunset Reception on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the Pierrepont House in Brooklyn Heights, NY. As is customary, our attorney’s will share information about each of our program areas, covering immigration, tenant advocacy and workers’ rights.

The event brings together legal professionals seeking to expand their work in the non-profit industry. Be sure to save your spot and fill out the form below.


Recent updates in Federal Immigration Policy: An update from Catholic Migration Services

Presione aquí para la versión en Español                                                                 Peze la pou tradui nan Kreyol Ayisyen

On February 17, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released two memos that detailed major changes to the current interior and border enforcement policies. There is still a lot that is unclear at this time and we expect more changes, but wanted to highlight the following priorities and what you can do to be prepared.

The President’s Priorities for Removing Immigrants Present in the United States:                                                              In the memos, DHS listed the following categories of immigrants within the country, including some who currently have a lawful status, as priority for removal:

  • Persons with any criminal conviction(s);
  • Persons with pending criminal charges;
  • Persons who have “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense”;
  • Persons believed by immigration officers to pose a threat to public safety or national security;
  • Persons who have a final order of removal;
  • Persons who have engaged in fraud/ misrepresentation in applications to government, or who have “abused” public benefits (this could include those who have used a fake Social Security Number); and
  • Those who are undocumented

We are not clear as to who would fall into some of these categories and expect to receive more information over the next couple of months. While this list of priorities does cast a wide net, please keep in mind that the current infrastructure may not allow the administration to significantly increase the rate of arrest/deportation. Additionally, most people still have a right to have their case heard in front of an Immigration Judge.

We are doing our best to keep people informed of policy changes and have been conducting Know Your Rights trainings in various churches and community centers in Brooklyn and Queens.

If you have any questions or concern, please call Catholic Migration Services at (718) 236-3000 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. To speak to our “Immigration Attorney on Call” dial extension 203 between 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. All care encouraged to visit our website for future updates, training sessions and workshops at

Download this letter as a PDF


Viernes, un día sin pan para apoyar a quienes ya no lo harán

Trabajadores de Tom Cat Bakery en protesta contra acciones anti-inmigrantes. Foto: Getty Images por medio de El Diario NY

Viernes el 21 de abril, trabajadores de Tom Cat Bakery, una de las panaderías más conocidas en la cuidad organizaron #DayWithoutBread o #UnDíaSinPan junto con Brandworkers, la organización laboral que les une. Era el deseo de los trabajadores que en la cuidad no comer pan como “un gesto de solidaridad y protesta a la política anti-inmigrante”. Los trabajadores están representados por abogados con Servicios Católicos de Migración y el Urban Justice Center-Community Development Project.

Lea la historia completa en El Diario NY: Viernes, un día sin pan para apoyar a quienes ya no lo harán

Tools for Tenants Ahead of Bushwick Rezoning

A tenant resource fair was held in Bushwick on Tuesday, March 28th hosted by the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development along with Councilmembers Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal. The event aimed at informing tenants and providing legal tools and associations to help tenants fight back against landlords and scrupulous tactics. Managing attorney for the housing program with Catholic Migration Services, Andrew Lehrer was among the organizations present.

Read the full story from City Limits: Tools for Tenants Ahead of Bushwick Rezoning


Tom Cat Bakery management works with immigrant workers facing termination

After a rally held on March 22nd to protest the threatened mass firings of immigrant workers following a Department of Homeland Security investigation, employees at Tom Cat Bakery have secured an extension of the deadline that would fire long time employees with no severance pay, within 10 business days if they did not provide documents proving they are in the United States legally. The workers are being represented by attorneys from Catholic Migration Services and Urban Justice Center – Community Development Project.

Read the full story from the Times Ledger: Tom Cat Bakery management works with immigrant facing termination


Immigrant Food Factory Workers Threatened with Mass Termination Choose Resistance

Following a Department of Homeland Security investigation, immigrant workers from Tom Cat Bakery were threatened by mass firings. On Wednesday, March 22nd workers, elected officials and community supporters rallied outside of the city’s oldest artisanal bakery to protest and stand in solidarity. The workers, represented by attorneys from Catholic Migration Services and Urban Justice Center – Community Development Project are also members of Brandworkers, a non-profit organization bringing local food production workers together for good jobs and a sustainable food system.

Read the full press release from Brandworkers in Common Dreams: Immigrant Food Factory Workers Threatened with Mass Termination Choose Resistance

Queens Church Attempts to Ease Immigration Fears

Michelle Powers reports from St. Bartholomew Church in Elmhurst, Queens where the pastor, Fr. Rick Beuther gathers the community for a night of information with presentations from both Catholic Migration and the NYPD. The evening is intended to ensure immigrant families know their rights and receive and are informed by credible sources.

See Currents NET TV’s coverage of the community event: Queens Church Attempts to Ease Immigration Fears


NYC warns of fake ICE agent scams

Lucy Yang, a reporter for Eyewitness News with ABC7NY, warned the community of fraudulent immigration agents ripping off immigrants in New York. The suspects have approached victims asking them for cash or threatening them with immediate deportation.

Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and ICE encourage the community to report these impostors immediately to local law enforcement.

Read the full story from ACB7NY: NYC warns of fake ICE agents scamming undocumented immigrants

Know Your Rights

Everyone living in the United States has certain basic rights under the U.S. Constitution, including people who are undocumented. To protect yourself, your family and your community, it is essential to Know Your Rights. You are also encouraged to utilize the “red card” provided by the National Immigration Law Center. Print it and keep it on you at all times.

Follow the link to access the card and find more Know Your Rights resources from the NILC.