Over the years, Catholic Migration Services has helped countless permanent residents on their path to become US citizens. Recently, two very special clients attended ceremonies to become proud new Americans.
Daniel Marshall and Monyfa Alexander, who both came to the US from Guyana as children and entered into New York’s foster care system, were referred to our Citizenship and Integration Program from Heart Share St. Vincent’s Services. Working together with their caseworkers from the foster agency, immigration counselors at CMS were able to help Daniel and Monyfa obtain fee waivers for the application and guide them through all of the steps in the naturalization process.
Now that they have become citizens, Daniel and Monyfa are able to further pursue their dreams of voting in the upcoming elections and working toward college degrees. Read more about these inspiring new Americans in a blog post by our partners at the New Americans Campaign.
Congratulations, Daniel and Monyfa! If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a US citizen, call us on our Citizenship Hotline at (646) 597-8797.
On June 15th Catholic Migration Services was part of the public hearing that the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) was hosting. Tenant members from different neighborhoods including Woodside, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst attended the hearing and testified for a much needed Rent Roll Back. Tenants spoke about how much of a burden rent has become and how they would have to leave their apartments and NYC in general if another increase was implemented. The tenants wore white T-shirts which they made colorful by writing messages and drawing images of how much of their income is spent on rent. Their testimonies included some data, but mainly their own stories which made them very powerful. Other groups that attended the RGB hearing were Minkwon, Centro Hispano Cuzcatlan, Make the Road NY and Chhaya.
On Wednesday, April 8th, Joe Crowley, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, and NYS Assembly Member Francisco Moya hosted an immigration forum in Jackson Heights, Queens. During this meeting leaders and experts on immigration discussed the status of President Obama’s executive action on immigration, the future of the NY DREAM Act, fraud prevention, the Central American Minors program, and different benefits and services available to immigrants in New York. This meeting provided members of the local community an opportunity to receive information and ask questions on the various programs that effect immigrants. CMS Immigration Counselor Marisol Canales was a member of the panel, she discussed CMS’ role in empowering immigrant communities and providing valuable resources and services. Other participating organizations included the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Legal Aid Society, SCO Family of Services, International Rescue Committee, Make the Road New York, Emerald Isle Immigration Center, FWD.us, Queens Community House, and CUNY Citizenship Now. New York State Senator Jose Peralta also joined the meeting held by Crowley and Moya.
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a new policy that will provide an opportunity for certain undocumented immigrants in the United States to apply for a limited form of immigration legal relief. It is estimated that at least tens of thousands of people within the Diocese of Brooklyn will be eligible to apply this new benefit which will include employment authorization and protection from deportation.
In furtherance of our mission to “Welcome the Stranger”, the Diocese of Brooklyn aims to provide reliable information and legal assistance to parishioners and other immigrants in response to the President’s announcement. Catholic Migration Services (CMS) will spearhead our Diocesan-wide effort to bring accessible and affordable services to eligible immigrants under this program.
A dedicated hotline has been established at CMS to provide up to date information on this topic. All interested individuals are encouraged to call the hotline at 347-979-9360.
Please be aware that the United States government has not yet established procedures for individuals to get relief under this new program. Therefore, it is important that immigrants beware of advertisements or solicitations which promise legal assistance.
Additionally CMS will conduct a special information session on Administrative Immigration Relief at St. Sebastian’s Parish Center located at 39-60 57th St. Woodside, Queens on December 6th at 1:00 PM. All interested Individuals are encouraged to attend.
For more information about CMS, please contact our Brooklyn office at 718-236-3000 or the Queens office at 347-472-3500. You can also visit Catholic Migration Services.
From May 29th to June 1st, CMS staff members traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to visit the Jesuit-run Kino Border Initiative (KBI). (more…)
As of June 21, 2014, Catholic Migration Services’ Brooklyn office will be located at 191 Joralemon Street, 4th Floor, Brooklyn,NY 11201 (more…)