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Immigration Update Pertaining to Haiti and Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

UPDATE AS OF: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Peze la pou tradui nan Kreyol Ayisyen

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?  

  • Temporary Protected Status is an immigration status available to some people from countries the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated as “unsafe to return to” for various reasons, such as civil war, political unrest, natural disaster, etc. 
  • TPS is a temporary immigration status that may be renewed for as long as the TPS designation is in place. A TPS designation may be made for 6, 12 or 18 months at a time. Nationals of the country designated for TPS must register during that time.  
  • At least 60 days before the expiration of the TPS designation, DHS must decide whether to extend or terminate the designation, based on conditions in that particular country. If TPS is extended, those who were granted TPS must re-register under that extension. Some countries have been designated for TPS for decades. 
  • DHS may re-designate a country for TPS based on new events that make that country unsafe to return to. 
  • If you are granted TPS, you: 
  • May not be deported from the United States; 
  • Can obtain an employment authorization card and a Social Security number; 
  • Can obtain permission to travel abroad and return to the United States. 
  • To be eligible for TPS, you must meet the following requirements: 
  • Be a national of the designated country (or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in that country); 
  • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since a specified date; 
  • Have continuously maintained a residence in the United States since a specified date; 
  • File during the initial registration or re-registration period. 

Has Haiti been designated for TPS?  

  • Haiti was originally designated for TPS after the January 10, 2010 earthquake and redesignated on May 19, 2011. Haitian nationals who were continuously physically present in the United States since January 12, 2011 were eligible to apply. This original designation and redesignation have been extended for years. On November 10, 2022, it was announced that Haitians granted TPS under the original designation and the May 19, 2011 redesignation, and who have timely re-registered under every subsequent extension, will have their TPS status automatically extended through June 30, 2024. 
  • Haiti was redesignated for TPS on August 3, 2021 for 18 months, until February 3, 2023. Haitian nationals who have been continuously residing in the United States since July 29, 2021 are eligible to apply and must do so before February 3, 2023. On December 5, 2022, DHS announced that this designation will be extended for 18 months, until August 3, 2024. Those granted TPS under the 2021 designation must re-register from January 26 to March 27, 2023 in order to maintain TPS and work authorization. 
  • On December 5, 2022, DHS also announced that Haiti will be redesignated for TPS for 18 months, until August 3, 2024. Haitian nationals who have been continuously residing in the United States since November 6, 2022 are eligible to apply from January 26, 2023 through  August 3, 2024.  

When can I apply for TPS?  

  • If you have been granted TPS status under the 2011 designation and have maintained that status, you do not have to re-register for TPS because it has been automatically extended through June 30, 2024. However, as that designation was sought to be terminated by the Trump Administration and that termination is being litigated in court, you may want to register under the 2021 or the 2022 redesignations, which are not subject to litigation. To register under the 2021 redesignation, you must prove that you have been continuously residing in the United States since July 29, 2021 and you must apply before February 3, 2023. To register under the 2022 redesignation, you must prove that you have been continuously residing in the United States since November 6, 2022 and you must apply between January 26, 2023 and August 3, 2024. 
  • If you have been granted TPS under the 2021 redesignation, you will have to re-register for TPS during a 60 day period, from January 26 through March 27, 2023 in order to extend your TPS and work permit to August 3, 2024.  
  • Work permits with the expiration date of February 3, 2023 are automatically extended through February 3, 2024.   
  • If your initial application for TPS under the 2021 redesignation is still pending on February 3, 2023, you do not need to file another application to re-register. 
  • If you have continuously resided in the United States since November 6, 2022, you can register for TPS from January 26, 2023 until August 3, 2024 under the 2022 redesignation.   

How do I apply?  

We recommend consulting a lawyer to determine if you are eligible to apply for TPS and to learn more about what documents you need to include in your application.   

For more information about TPS and referrals to free legal service providers, you can call the New Americans Hotline at (800) 566-7636, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. 

For additional information, you can also contact Action NYC at (800) 354-0365 – Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. – to connect with City-funded, free and safe immigration legal help. 

Download this update as a PDF: Immigration Update Pertaining to Haiti and Temporary Protected Status (TPS)


About Catholic Migration Services: For over 50 years, Catholic Migration Services, a not-for-profit legal services provider affiliated with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, has been providing quality legal services to low-income individuals in New York City in the areas of immigration, housing, and employment laws. For more information, please visit www.catholicmigration.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CMSBQ.

Senior Development Associate

 

 

 

 

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: SENIOR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE 

Catholic Migration Services (“CMS”) is hiring a Senior Development Associate to work with our Development team. CMS, an affiliated agency of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, provides high quality free legal services, community education, and advocacy for low-income immigrants regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status. CMS assists individuals with their immigration, housing, and employment legal needs. CMS is committed to “welcoming the stranger in our midst” by serving and working alongside underserved immigrant communities to advance equality and social justice in an ever-changing landscape.
The Senior Development Associate will be responsible for implementing Catholic Migration Services’ individual, corporate and foundation fundraising strategies under the supervision and guidance of the Director of Development.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Conduct outreach to individual and corporate donors through targeted mailings, e-blasts and newsletters, and assisting with CMS’ website;
• Research new corporate, foundation and government funding sources and evaluate Requests for Proposals;
• Coordinate CMS fundraising events and other donor engagement activities;
• Maintain updated and organized grant files and records including tracking donations;
• Assist the Development Director with document compilation and submission for grant applications and contract registrations; and
• Assist in other development related functions that may further the mission of CMS.

Qualifications:
• Undergraduate degree;
• At least 4 years of experience in frontline fundraising, non-profit donor relationship management, and/or sales;
• A compelling passion for Catholic Migration’s mission and programs;
• Exceptional persuasive writing, proofreading, and editing skills;
• Strong and flexible time management and organizational skills; and
• Ability to plan and balance multiple projects and priorities in a dynamic environment, with both long- and short-term deadlines.

Diversity and Non-Discrimination Policy:
Catholic Migration Services values workplace diversity and welcomes applicants and employees of all backgrounds. CMS strives to create a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for all staff. CMS makes all employment decisions without regard to any applicant’s or employee’s protected characteristics, including their race, religion, color, national origin, immigration status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, arrest conviction record, or marital status.

Salary and Benefits:
Salary is on a union scale based on years of experience. The salary range for a Senior Development Associate with four to seven years of experience is $58,442-$62,019. CMS offers a competitive benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance coverage, transit benefits, Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and a 403(b) retirement plan including employer contribution.  We offer generous leave policies, including four weeks paid vacation, four paid personal days, fourteen paid holidays and the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Days, inclusive.

Union Representation:
This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW, Local 2325.

Application Instructions:
Applications will be accepted immediately and will be considered on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, a list of two professional references and a writing sample to: Kim Robinson, Director of Development at krobinson@catholicmigration.org.


Download this job announcement as a pdf: Senior Development Associate

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: PARALEGAL, PRO SE PLUS PROJECT

 

 

 

 

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: PARALEGAL, PRO SE PLUS PROJECT

Catholic Migration Services (“CMS”), an affiliated agency of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, provides high quality free legal services, community education, and advocacy for low- income immigrants residing in Brooklyn and Queens, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status. CMS assists individuals with their immigration, housing, and employment legal needs. CMS is committed to “welcoming the stranger in our midst” by serving and working alongside underserved immigrant communities to advance equality and social justice in an ever-changing landscape.

The Paralegal will work in the Brooklyn office with our new Pro Se Plus Project (PSPP), a collaborative initiative of several non-profit legal service providers that was developed to respond to the needs of newly arrived migrants from the southern border. PSPP will provide community legal orientations, trainings for advocates, legal screenings, and pro se assistance with various immigration applications, both on a rolling basis and through scalable clinics and workshops. This is a unique opportunity for someone passionate about immigrant rights, energized to empower immigrant communities, and eager to participate in the development of an innovative project.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist in planning, developing and coordinating community legal orientations, volunteer trainings, and clinics;
  • Conduct screenings, intake, and information collection regarding eligibility for immigration benefits;
  • Prepare a variety of immigration applications and motions, on a pro se basis, including changes of address, motions to change venue, applications for asylum and work permits, etc.; file such motions and applications with the immigration court, ICE and USCIS;
  • Assist with Spanish/English translation of documents and oral interpretation;
  • Assist in training, onboarding, tracking and maintaining communication with PSPP volunteers;
  • Maintain physical and electronic files for program participants; assist with internal and external reporting;
  • Participate in PSPP meetings with other members of the collaborative (Central American Legal Assistance, UnLocal, New York Legal Assistance Group, MASA, and Venezuelan Immigrant Aid);
  • Participate in on-site and virtual PSPP events, including on evenings and weekends, such as legal clinics, educational events, or workshops held throughout the five boroughs; and
  • Provide additional support as needed.

Qualifications:

  • Required
    • Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree;
    • Fluency in written and oral Spanish;
    • Experience working with immigrant communities of color, including those who have experienced trauma;
    • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently or as part of a team;
    • Strong, clear, and effective communication skills;
    • Excellent organizational and time management skills;
    • Meticulous attention to detail;
    • Excellent computer skills;
    • Availability to travel throughout the five boroughs.
  • Preferred, but not required:
    • Prior or related immigration experience;
    • Demonstrated interest in public interest work and social justice for underserved populations.

Diversity and Non-Discrimination Policy:
Catholic Migration Services values workplace diversity and welcomes applicants and employees of all backgrounds. CMS strives to create a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for all staff. CMS makes all employment decisions without regard to any applicant’s or employee’s protected characteristics, including their race, religion, color, national origin, immigration status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, arrest conviction record, or marital status.

Salary and Benefits:
Salary is on a union scale based on years of experience. The salary range for an immigration paralegal with two to six years of experience is $49,725 to $55,080. CMS offers a very competitive benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance coverage, transit benefits, Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and a 403(b) retirement plan including employer contribution. We offer generous leave policies, including four weeks paid vacation, four paid personal days, fourteen paid holidays and the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Days, inclusive.

Union Representation:
This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the
Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW, Local 2325.

Application Instructions:
Applications will be accepted immediately and will be considered on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, list of two professional references and a writing sample to: Raluca Oncioiu, Managing Attorney at roncioiu@catholicmigration.org. Please include “PSPP Paralegal” in the subject line.


 

Staff Attorney, Pro Se Plus Project

 

 

 

 

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: STAFF ATTORNEY, PRO SE PLUS PROJECT

Catholic Migration Services (“CMS”), an affiliated agency of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, provides high quality free legal services, community education, and advocacy for low- income immigrants residing in Brooklyn and Queens, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status. CMS assists individuals with their immigration, housing, and employment legal needs. CMS is committed to “welcoming the stranger in our midst” by serving and working alongside underserved immigrant communities to advance equality and social justice in an ever-changing landscape.

The Attorney will work in our downtown Brooklyn office with our new Pro Se Plus Project (PSPP), a collaborative initiative of several non-profit legal service providers that was developed to respond to the needs of newly arrived migrants from the southern border. PSPP will provide community legal orientations, trainings for advocates, legal screenings, and pro se assistance with various immigration applications, both on a rolling basis and through scalable clinics and workshops. This is a unique opportunity for someone passionate about immigrant rights, energized to empower immigrant communities, and eager to participate in the development of an innovative project.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participate in developing and implementing the PSPP initiative in collaboration with our partners, Central American Legal Assistance, UnLocal, New York Legal Assistance Group, MASA, and Venezuelan Immigrant Aid;
  • Plan, develop, and conduct community legal orientations, volunteer trainings, and clinics;
  • Conduct screenings for eligibility for immigration benefits;
  • Prepare a variety of immigration applications and motions, on a pro se basis, including changes of address, motions to change venue, applications for asylum and work permits, etc.;
  • Train, onboard, and supervise PSPP volunteers to conduct screenings and provide pro se application assistance;
  • Participate in PSPP meetings with other members of the collaborative;
  • Participate in on-site and virtual PSPP events, including on evenings and weekends, such as legal clinics, educational events, or workshops; and
  • Maintain a small caseload, including:
    • representation of clients in removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review seeking all types of relief, including but not limited to: Asylum, Cancellation of Removal, 212(c), and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status;
    • representation of clients on affirmative applications before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and in guardianship and custody hearings in New York State Family Court;
    • representation of clients before federal appellate bodies and district courts with supervisor approval;
  • Maintain client files and regularly update case information in CMS’ case management database;
  • Provide required information for internal and external reporting;
  • Assume other .duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Required
    • JD;
    • Admission to the bar of any state (NYS preferred);
    • Fluency in written and oral Spanish;
    • One to five years’ experience practicing Immigration Law as an attorney or equivalent experience;
    • Experience working with immigrants from diverse backgrounds and communities, including those who have experienced trauma;
    • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently or as part of a team;
    • Strong, clear, and effective communication skills;
    • Excellent organizational and time management skills;
    • Commitment to advocating for immigrant clients in an empowering way;
    • Basic computer skills;
    • Ability to travel throughout the five boroughs.

Diversity and Non-Discrimination Policy:
Catholic Migration Services values workplace diversity and welcomes applicants and employees of all backgrounds. CMS strives to create a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for all staff. CMS makes all employment decisions without regard to any applicant’s or employee’s protected characteristics, including their race, religion, color, national origin, immigration status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, arrest conviction record, or marital status.

Salary and Benefits:
Salary is on a union scale based on years of experience. The salary range for an immigration attorney with two to six years of experience is $72,864.72 to $82,212. CMS offers a very competitive benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance coverage, transit benefits, Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and a 403(b) retirement plan including employer contribution. We offer generous leave policies, including four weeks paid vacation, four paid personal days, fourteen paid holidays and the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Days, inclusive.

Union Representation:
This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the
Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW, Local 2325.

Application Instructions:
Applications will be accepted immediately and will be considered on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, list of two professional references and a writing sample to: Raluca Oncioiu, Managing Attorney at roncioiu@catholicmigration.org. Please include “PSPP Attorney” in the subject line.

Immigration Update Pertaining to Haiti and Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

UPDATE AS OF: Monday, January 1, 2023

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

  • Temporary Protected Status is an immigration status available to some people from countries the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated as “unsafe to return to” for various reasons, such as civil war, political unrest, natural disaster, etc.
  • TPS is a temporary immigration status that may be renewed for as long as the TPS designation is in place. A TPS designation may be made for 6, 12 or 18 months at a time. Nationals of the country designated for TPS must register during that time.
  • At least 60 days before the expiration of the TPS designation, DHS must decide whether to extend or terminate the designation, based on conditions in that particular country. If TPS is extended, those who were granted TPS must re-register under that extension. Some countries have been designated for TPS for decades.
  • DHS may re-designate a country for TPS based on new events that make that country unsafe to return to.
  • If you are granted TPS, you:
    • May not be deported from the United States;
    • Can obtain an employment authorization card and a Social Security number;
    • Can obtain permission to travel abroad and return to the United States.
  • To be eligible for TPS, you must meet the following requirements:
    • Be a national of the designated country (or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in that country);
    • Have been continuously physically present in the United States since a specified date;
    • Have continuously maintained a residence in the United States since a specified date;
    • File during the initial registration or re-registration period.

Has Haiti been designated for TPS?

  • Haiti was originally designated for TPS after the January 10, 2010 earthquake and redesignated on May 19, 2011. Haitian nationals who were continuously physically present in the United States since January 12, 2011 were eligible to apply. This original designation and redesignation have been extended for years. On November 10, 2022, it was announced that Haitians granted TPS under the original designation and the May 19, 2011 redesignation, and who have timely re-registered under every subsequent extension, will have their TPS status automatically extended through June 30, 2024.
  • Haiti was redesignated for TPS on August 3, 2021 for 18 months, until February 3, 2023. Haitian nationals who have been continuously residing in the United States since July 29, 2021 are eligible to apply and must do so before February 3, 2023. On December 5, 2022, DHS announced that this designation will be extended for 18 months, until August 3, 2024. The re-registration period has not been announced yet.
  • On December 5, 2022, DHS also announced that Haiti will be redesignated for TPS for 18 months, until August 3, 2024. Haitian nationals who have been continuously residing in the United States since November 6, 2022 are eligible to apply and must do so before August 3, 2024.

When can I apply for TPS?

  • If you have been granted TPS status under the 2011 designation and have maintained that status, you do not have to re-register for TPS because it has been automatically extended through June 30, 2024. However, as that designation was sought to be terminated by the Trump Administration and that termination is being litigated in court, you may want to register under the 2021 or the 2022 redesignations, which are not subject to litigation. To register under the 2021 redesignation, you must prove that you have been continuously residing in the United States since July 29, 2021 and you must apply before February 3, 2023. To register under the 2022 redesignation, you must prove that you have been continuously residing in the United States since November 6, 2022 and you must apply before August 3, 2024 – this registration process has not started yet.
  • If you have been granted TPS under the 2021 redesignation, you will have to re-register under the extension announced on December 5, 2022. That re-registration period has not started yet.
  • If you have NOT been granted TPS under previous designations and you have continuously resided in the United states since November 6, 2022, you can register when the registration period is announced and until August 3, 2024. That registration period has not started yet.
  • To confirm the start of these registration and re-registration processes, please call the New York State New Americans Hotline – a hotline that provides free information and referrals on immigration matters – at 800-566-7636, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

How do I apply?

We recommend consulting a lawyer to determine if you are eligible to apply for TPS and to learn more about what documents you need to include in your application.

For more information about TPS and referrals to free legal service providers, you can call the New Americans Hotline at (800) 566-7636, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

For additional information, you can also contact Action NYC at (800) 354-0365 – Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. – to connect with City-funded, free and safe immigration legal help.

Download this update as a PDF: Immigration Update Pertaining to Haiti and Temporary Protected Status (TPS)


About Catholic Migration Services: For over 50 years, Catholic Migration Services, a not-for-profit legal services provider affiliated with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, has been providing quality legal services to low-income individuals in New York City in the areas of immigration, housing, and employment laws. For more information, please visit www.catholicmigration.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CMSBQ.

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: PARALEGAL, REMOVAL DEFENSE TEAM

 

 

 

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: PARALEGAL, REMOVAL DEFENSE TEAM

Catholic Migration Services (“CMS”), an affiliated agency of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, provides high quality free legal services, community education, and advocacy for low- income immigrants residing in Brooklyn and Queens, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status. CMS assists individuals with their immigration, housing, and employment legal needs. CMS is committed to “welcoming the stranger in our midst” by serving and working alongside underserved immigrant communities to advance equality and social justice in an ever-changing landscape.

The Paralegal will work in the Brooklyn office with our agency’s Removal Defense team in our Immigration unit to provide direct services and to support the work of the team. Our Removal Defense team provides legal assistance and representation to non-detained individuals in removal proceedings. This is a unique opportunity for someone passionate about immigrant rights and energized to empower immigrant communities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct screenings, intake, and information collection regarding eligibility for immigration benefits;
  • Prepare a variety of immigration applications, affidavits and supporting documents for cases including Asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Violence Against Women Act, U and T visas, and Cancellation of Removal;
  • Retrieve records for clients such as birth certificates, criminal histories, tax records, medical records, etc.;
  • Submit Immigration, Family Court, and USCIS filings;
  • Conduct country condition and other factual research;
  • Manage caseload and maintain client files in good working order. Maintain and update client and case information in case management database;
  • Help with Spanish/English translation of documents, including birth and marriage certificates and oral interpretation, including during psychological evaluations;
  • Help clients access social services through referrals and by enrollment assistance;
  • Assist in training and onboarding volunteers;
  • Communicate regularly and in a timely manner with assigned clients, keeping them informed of case status, answering general questions, and scheduling meetings as needed;
  • Participate in CMS staff meetings and case review;
  • Participate in Catholic Migration Services functions on evenings and weekends, such as legal clinics, educational events, or workshops held at parishes or community based organizations;
  • Copy, scan and otherwise assist in the preparation of client application packages for relief from removal and other immigration benefits; and
  • Provide additional support as needed.

Qualifications:

  • Required
    • Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree;
    • Strong, clear, and effective communication skills;
    • Fluency in written and oral Spanish;
    • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently or as part of a team;
    • Excellent organizational and time management skills;
    • Meticulous attention to detail;
    • Basic computer skills
  • Preferred, but not required:
    • Prior or related immigration experience;
    • Demonstrated interest in public interest work and social justice for underserved populations;
    • Demonstrated ability and experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds and who have experienced trauma.

Diversity and Non-Discrimination Policy:
Catholic Migration Services values workplace diversity and welcomes applicants and employees of all backgrounds. CMS strives to create a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for all staff. CMS makes all employment decisions without regard to any applicant’s or employee’s protected characteristics, including their race, religion, color, national origin, immigration status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, arrest conviction record, or marital status.

Salary and Benefits:
Salary is on a union scale based on years of experience. The salary range for an immigration paralegal with two to six years of experience is $49,725 to $55,080. CMS offers a very competitive benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance coverage, transit benefits, Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and a 403(b) retirement plan including employer contribution. We offer generous leave policies, including four weeks paid vacation, four paid personal days, fourteen paid holidays and the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Days, inclusive.

Union Representation:
This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW, Local 2325.

Application Instructions:
Applications will be accepted immediately and will be considered on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, list of two professional references and a writing sample to: Raluca Oncioiu, Managing Attorney at roncioiu@catholicmigration.org. Please include “Removal Defense, Paralegal” in the subject line.


JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: PARALEGAL, AFFIRMATIVE TEAM

 

 

 

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: PARALEGAL, AFFIRMATIVE TEAM

Catholic Migration Services (“CMS”), an affiliated agency of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, provides high quality free legal services, community education, and advocacy for low- income immigrants residing in Brooklyn and Queens, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status. CMS assists individuals with their immigration, housing, and employment legal needs. CMS is committed to “welcoming the stranger in our midst” by serving and working alongside underserved immigrant communities to advance equality and social justice in an ever-changing landscape.

The Paralegal will work in the Queens office with our agency’s Affirmative team to provide direct services including pre-screenings, intake and application assistance to immigrants seeking to obtain immigration benefits. Our Affirmative team provides legal assistance and representation for immigration relief, including but not limited to green card renewals, adjustment of status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), family reunification, employment authorization, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), visas for victims of crime and trafficking, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), etc. This is a unique opportunity for someone passionate about immigrant rights and energized to empower immigrant communities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct pre-screenings, intake, and information collection regarding eligibility for immigration benefits;
  • Prepare a variety of immigration applications, affidavits and supporting documents for cases including adjustment of status, green card renewals, work authorization, TPS, DACA, VAWA self-petitions, etc.;
  • Copy, scan and otherwise assist in the preparation of client application packages for immigration benefits;
  • Retrieve records for clients such as birth certificates, criminal histories, tax records, medical records, etc.;
  • Provide staff of the immigration department with translation and interpretation assistance;
  • Manage caseload and maintain client files in good working order. Maintain and update case list and client and case information in case management database;
  • Assist clients with access and enrollment in social services benefits;
  • Communicate regularly and in a timely manner with assigned clients, keeping them informed of case status, answering general questions, and scheduling meetings as needed;
  • Participate in CMS staff meetings and case review;
  • Participate in Catholic Migration Services functions on evenings and weekends, such as legal clinics, educational events, or workshops held at parishes or community based organizations; and
  • Provide additional support as needed.

Qualifications:

  • Required
    • Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree;
    • Strong, clear, and effective communication skills;
    • Fluency in written and oral second language; Spanish and Haitian-Creole preferred;
    • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently or as part of a team;
    • Excellent organizational and time management skills;
    • Meticulous attention to detail;
    • Basic computer skills.
  • Preferred, but not required:
    • a. Prior or related immigration experience;
    • b. Demonstrated interest in public interest work and social justice for underserved populations;
    • c. Demonstrated ability and experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds and who have experienced trauma.

Diversity and Non-Discrimination Policy:
Catholic Migration Services values workplace diversity and welcomes applicants and employees of all backgrounds. CMS strives to create a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for all staff. CMS makes all employment decisions without regard to any applicant’s or employee’s protected characteristics, including their race, religion, color, national origin, immigration status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, arrest conviction record, or marital status.

Salary and Benefits:
Salary is on a union scale based on years of experience. The salary range for an immigration counselor with two to six years of experience is $49,725 to $55,080. CMS offers a very competitive benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance coverage, transit benefits, Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and a 403(b) retirement plan including employer contribution. We offer generous leave policies, including four weeks paid vacation, four paid personal days, fourteen paid holidays and the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Days, inclusive.

Union Representation:
This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW, Local 2325.

Application Instructions:
Applications will be accepted immediately and will be considered on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, list of two professional references and a writing sample to: Raluca Oncioiu, Managing Attorney at roncioiu@catholicmigration.org. Please include “Affirmative Team, Paralegal” in the subject line.


Workers Rights Groups and Council Members Celebrate Renewed Low-Wage Worker Support Funding & Call for Stable Funding

On Tuesday, November 22, 2022, Catholic Migration Services joined Councilmember Shekar Krishan, advocates at NICE: New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Make the Road New York, TakeRoot Justice and allies during a press conference in front of the City Hall steps to celebrate continuing funding for a crucial initiative for defending the rights of low-wage workers. Advocates, workers, and Council Members urged that the program, the Low-Wage Worker Support (LWWS), be baselined in the upcoming budget.

In Fiscal Year 2022, through this vital program, legal service providers and community organizations advised and represented workers in over 2,300 cases to recoup unpaid wages and obtained more than $3 million in settlements and judgments for workers.

​​​​​LWWS is the only dedicated city funding stream to provide free employment-related legal services to low-wage workers across NYC. Through LWWS, workers are connected to advocacy and able to access individualized legal advice and full legal representation in a range of proceedings, including pre-litigation settlement negotiations, unemployment insurance hearings, and individual and group cases before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.

Every year, more than $1 billion in wages are stolen from low-wage workers in New York City.

At the press conference, directly impacted workers shared their personal stories facing stolen wages, unsafe working conditions, and workplace rights’ violations.

Anthony Damelio, Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney and David Colodny, Senior Counsel with the Employment Unit at Catholic Migration Services pose on the steps of City Hall after a press conference to defend the rights of low-wage workers on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

 

Councilmember Shekar Krishan, advocates at Catholic Migration Services, NICE: New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Make the Road New York, TakeRoot Justice and allies in front of the City Hall steps during a press conference on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

Immigration Update Pertaining to Burma and the Extension and Redesignation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

 

 

 

IMMIGRATION UPDATE AS OF: Monday, October 31, 2022

Immigration Update Pertaining to Burma and the Extension and Redesignation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended and redesignated Burma for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through May 25, 2024.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

What does this announcement mean?
The extension of TPS for Burma allows Burmese nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Burma) who have already been granted TPS to re-register for TPS from September 27, 2022 through November 26, 2022.

The redesignation of TPS for Burma allows Burmese nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Burma) who have continuously resided in the United States since September 25, 2022 and have had continuous physical presence in the United States since November 26, 2022 to file an initial application for TPS, as long as they meet eligibility requirements. Individuals granted TPS are not removable from the United States, can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or work permit, Social Security Number, and may be granted travel authorization.

When can I apply for TPS?
Those who already have TPS must re-register during a 60-day period from September 27, 2022 through November 26, 2022. Those applying for TPS for the first time have from September 27, 2022 to May 25, 2024 to do so.

How do I apply?
We recommend consulting a lawyer to determine if you are eligible to apply for TPS and to learn more about what documents you need to include in your application.

For more information about TPS and referrals to free legal service providers, you can call the New Americans Hotline at (800) 566-7636, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

For additional information, you can also contact Action NYC at (800) 354-0365 – Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. – to connect with City-funded, free and safe immigration legal help.


Immigration Update Pertaining to Ethiopia and Its Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

 

 

 

IMMIGRATION UPDATE AS OF: Monday, October 31, 2022

Immigration Update Pertaining to Ethiopia and Its Designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

On October 21, 2022, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Ethiopia will be designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a foreign country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

What does this announcement mean?
The designation of TPS for Ethiopia allows Ethiopian nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Ethiopia) who have continuously resided in the United States since October 20, 2022 to file an initial application for TPS, as long as they meet eligibility requirements. Please note that those who travel to the United States after October 20, 2022, are not be eligible for TPS. Individuals granted TPS are not removable from the United States, can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or work permit, Social Security Number, and may be granted travel authorization.

When can I apply for TPS?
Please note that because the TPS designation has not been officially published in the Federal Register yet, the application process has NOT started. To confirm the start of the application process, please call the New York State New Americans Hotline – a hotline that provides free information and referrals on immigration matters – at 800-566-7636, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

How do I apply?
We recommend consulting a lawyer to determine if you are eligible to apply for TPS and to learn more about what documents you need to include in your application.

For more information about TPS and referrals to free legal service providers, you can call the New Americans Hotline at (800) 566-7636, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

For additional information, you can also contact Action NYC at (800) 354-0365 – Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. – to connect with City-funded, free and safe immigration legal help.