On Monday, March 16th, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Legal Services NYC and six other organizations, including Catholic Migration Services sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting the option to reschedule merits hearings in New York immigration courts upon request in the absence of court closures as well as the option to appear via phone or video for those with easy to resolve cases. Today’s letter also asks for a moratorium on all immigration removal orders where the immigrant is unable to show up for health reasons or concerns. On Friday night, the Department of Justice announced the postponement of NYC “master calendar hearings” (or initial hearings) for those not in custody but did not address the merits hearings that follow. On Sunday, immigration prosecutors, judges and attorneys called for the closure of immigration courts across the country.
Read the letter and full story via Latino Rebels: In Absence of Immigration Court Closures, Letter Asks DOJ for Option to Postpone Merits Hearings and Halt Some Removal Orders in Wake of Coronavirus
On Monday, March 16th at 5:00 p.m., an eviction moratorium went into effect for New York tenants (both residential and commercial) after advocates with the Right to Counsel New York City Coalition and Housing Justice for All petitioned local leaders to call for a moratorium during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis. As a result, Housing Court will be closed as of Tuesday, March 17th until further notice, except for emergencies such as illegal lockouts and emergency repairs.
Read the full story in Curbed NY: New York halts evictions indefinitely due to corona pandemic
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Due to the evolving outbreak pertaining to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis, Catholic Migration Services is limiting office operations to reduce health risks to visitors, staff and volunteers. We understand that we assist clients with sensitive matters. Please be assured that our staff is making all necessary accommodations to proactively work with our community in a way that will not harm our clients. For the health and safety of all, please do not come to our offices unless instructed to do so by a staff member of Catholic Migration Services.
For New Clients
Please be advised that Catholic Migration Services has suspended all new client meetings indefinitely. This means that if you are currently scheduled to meet with a staff member for the first time to obtain legal assistance, please do not come to our office for your appointment. A staff member from Catholic Migration Services will contact all new clients about their individual situations and if we cannot assist you over the phone we will try to reschedule your appointment for a later date.
For Existing Clients
If you are an existing client with Catholic Migration Services and have a scheduled appointment, please do not come to our office unless instructed by one of our staff members. In the meantime, please try to call or email the staff member assisting you.
For Individuals Seeking Legal Assistance for the First Time
If you are not a client and are calling to make a new appointment, we are not currently scheduling new appointments. Please be sure to visit our website at www.catholicmigration.org for more information as it becomes available.
For Housing Clients
Please be advised that Housing Court will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17th until further notice, except for emergencies such as illegal lockouts and emergency repairs. Please know that all evictions will be put on hold until further notice. If you are not a client and are a tenant seeking immediate legal assistance on housing matters, please call 311 for more information.
The safety of our community is our priority at all times. As a result, Catholic Migration Services has suspended all outreach activities including our monthly community meetings in Woodside and has also temporarily closed our Queens office located at 47-01 Queens Boulevard, Suite 203, Sunnyside, NY 11104 until further notice. We encourage vulnerable individuals to exercise caution and stay safe. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this health emergency.
For additional updates, please regularly visit the organization website and social media channels:
Download this announcement as a PDF.
On December 20, 2019 the United States Congress passed a new law as part of the Liberian Refugee Immigration Act (LRIFA) in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allows certain Liberian nationals the opportunity to file for permanent residence in the United States.
The deadline for eligible individuals to apply is December 20, 2020.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
Liberian nationals who have been “continuously present” in the United States from November 20, 2014 up to the date of submitting an application, or the spouses, children, unmarried sons or daughters of such a person. Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to apply:
- Be a national of Liberia;
- Be continuously physically present in the United States from November 20, 2014 to the date of the filing of their application (Note: this physical presence requirement does not apply to spouses, children, or unmarried sons or daughters of the principal applicant) ;
- Be eligible for an immigrant visa; and
- Be admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief.
A licensed immigration attorney or accredited immigration counselor can explain these eligibility requirements and whether you may be eligible to apply.
If you believe you may be eligible to apply for residency under this act, please contact Catholic Migration Services to schedule an appointment in Brooklyn at (718) 236-3000 or in Queens at (347) 472-3500.
Catholic Migration Services will continue to update information in the near future to reflect any further changes. All are encouraged to visit our website for future updates, training sessions and workshops.
Download this immigration update as a PDF.
On Monday, January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court permitted the public charge rule to go into effect, while litigation over the rule continues. This means the public charge rule is in effect, for now, in New York and most places nationwide.
Please check back for more details and to learn how this may apply to you and your family.