Help Us Help Dreamers!

Help us help Dreamers!

Dreamers are recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  They are young people who came to the U.S. before the age of 16 and are currently in school, a graduate of high school or equivalent, or honorably discharged from the U.S. military.   They also have a clean criminal record and have passed a background check.  The DACA registration is good for two years, after which the DACA recipient must again meet the same requirements in order to renew DACA for two more years.

An estimated 790,000 young people have undergone the rigorous vetting and are enrolled in the DACA program.

On September 5th, Attorney General Sessions announced that the current administration is terminating DACA. Current DACA recipients have only until October 5, 2017 to renew their status.

Terminating DACA will have immediate devastating consequences for DACA recipients. With your support, we will continue to reach out to the community to ensure that as many DACA recipients as possible renew their DACA status before the deadline of October 5th.

Please take action now to support the Dreamers by donating to Catholic Migration Services and earmarking your donation to support our DACA work.  We will use these funds to help Dreamers needing financial assistance pay the $495 fee charged by the government and to support our expanded efforts to assist Dreamers with their renewal applications.

DACA Fact Sheets Released by Catholic Migration Services

Catholic Migration Services is deeply troubled and saddened by the Trump administration’s lack of commitment to immigrant youth. On September 5th 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration was rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). DACA was a program put in place by President Obama to protect young people from deportation if they had been brought to the U.S. as children, and to enable them to lawfully work. An estimated 800,000 children and young adults across the country applied for, and were granted DACA status. These DACA recipients have been able to finish school and obtain jobs, contribute to our economy and communities, and live without the constant fear of deportation.

For more information on the government’s termination of the DACA program and what it means to current DACA recipients, see our fact sheets in English and Spanish. For advice or assistance with DACA renewal applications, please call us at (718) 236-3000 (Brooklyn) or (347) 472-3500 (Queens).

Renewal Period for Haitian Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

TPS is a temporary legal status  granted to Haitian nationals. Temporary Protected Status also offers Haitian nationals the opportunity to apply for work authorization, which permits them to work legally in the United States.

TPS must be renewed every 18 months. Haitian nationals must renew their TPS NO LATER than July 24, 2017. Upon renewal, TPS will be extended until July 22, 2018.

This renewal period is open ONLY to Haitian nationals who currently have TPS. With rare exceptions, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is NOT accepting new TPS registrations.

The basic eligibility requirements to renew Haitian TPS are:

– Applicant must be a Haitian national

– Applicant must have entered the U.S. prior to January 12, 2011

– Applicant must have resided in the U.S. continuously before or since January 12, 2011

– Applicant must have been approved for TPS previously (either in 2010, and timely re-registered in 2011 OR in 2011)

– Male applicants 18 years or older must be registered with Selective Service

The USCIS fees for Haitian TPS renewal are:

– $465, for applicant 14 years or older applying for employment authorization

– $85, for applicant 14 years or older not applying for employment authorization

– $380, for applicant under 14 years applying for employment authorization

– $0,  for applicant under 14 years not applying for employment authorization

Fee waivers are available under certain circumstances.

Catholic Migration Services provides legal representation before USCIS to all Haitian TPS applicants we serve.

If you would like more information, or if you are a Haitian national and need to re-register your TPS, please call our Brooklyn office at 718-236-3000 or our Queens office at 347-472-3500 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Click here for information about Haitian TPS in Kreyòl Ayisyen.

Article written by Deacon Paul Dorsinville, Health Education Coordinator and Kimberley Kearns, Public Ally/Capacity Building Specialist

Special thanks to the Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit for information.

Queens Landlord Accused of Trying to Scare Undocumented Immigrants into Moving Away

An undocumented immigrant residing in an apartment complex on Parsons Boulevard in Queens, NY seeks assistance from Catholic Migration and Queens Legal Services after realty company seeks to evict undocumented tenants. The landlord is accused of using scare tactics to encourage neighbors to report suspicious activity to the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Unit. Posting signs accompanied by tip line numbers, tenants in the largely immigrant community now live in fear. Carlos Ortiz, tenant organizer with Catholic Migration Services shares this unscrupulous approach with NY 1 reporter Ruschell Boone.

Read the full story and watch the interview with NY 1: Queens Landlord Accused of Trying to Scare Undocumented Immigrants into Moving Away

Vatican Launches New Site Dedicated to Migrants and Refugees

In an effort to expand how the Church accompanies people, the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development recently launched a new website, “to ensure that those forced to flee are not left behind.” Accessible in 5 languages, the Vatican office is personally directed by Pope Francis and is a direct response to the Holy Father’s concern for the displaced and marginalized across the globe.

Photo Credit: CRS

During the Sixth International Forum on Migration and Peace at the Vatican, February 21 to 22, His Holiness shared four “verbs” when addressing migrants and refugees among us. He challenged leaders and citizens of the world to welcome, protect, promote and integrate our fellow brothers and sisters. In doing so, we are called to discover the “sacred value of hospitality.”

At Catholic Migration Services, our mission is to “welcome the stranger in our midst”, by being committed to empowering underserved immigrant communities in Brooklyn and Queens regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status. We are proud to connect our community to the Vatican’s newest website as a way to expand our services, education, and advocacy among the many people we assist.

The Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development was originally announced by Pope Francis on August 31, 2016 and began operation January 1st of this year. According to Radio Vaticana, the new Dicastery was created “to better serve the needs of the most vulnerable, including migrants and refugees, in yet another expression of his strong concern for  the protection of people on the move.”

Read the full address from the Vatican: His Holiness Pope Francis to Participants in the International Forum on “Migration and Peace”

Errol Louis delivers commencement speech at Brooklyn Law School graduation

Congratulations to the 2017 graduates of Brooklyn Law School and our very own, Very Rev. Patrick J. Keating, Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Migration Services. Fr. Keating delivered the opening invocation and received his Juris Doctorate alongside 399 students during the 116th commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 18th.

Political anchor at NY1 News and a 2005 graduate, Errol Louis, delivered the commencement speech and received an honorary degree. According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the common theme that carried across everyone’s speech was the responsibility toward community. In the commencement speech, Louis reminded the graduates not to forget their “invisible clients.”

“Remember that you have clients beyond the ones who are paying you,” Louis said. “Justice is your client. Fairness is your client. Honesty and integrity and service are your clients, and they deserve your best effort.”

Read the full story from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Errol Luis delivers commencement speech at Brooklyn Law School graduation

El legado de Yolanda Coca

Yolanda Coca, que en paz descanse, sirvió a sus hermanos con compasión, esperanza y fuerza en una época en que los marginados necesitaban una voz que pudiera luchar por ellos. Fue una activista y líder comunitaria que dedicó su vida al servicio de sus vecinos en Sunset Park, Ridgewood y Bushwick. Muchos de ellos se enfrentaron con la desigualdad en comunidades donde predominaban las familias inmigrantes y de bajos ingresos.

Su trabajo y colaboración con el Centro Scalabrini para familias migrantes y Servicios Católicos de Migración ayudó a expandir los servicios y recursos disponibles a la comunidad.

Lea la historia completa en Nuestra VozEl legado de Yolanda Coca


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


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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

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