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Workers’ Rights Program Reaches $33,000 Settlement for Domestic Worker in Wage Theft and Harassment Suit

The Workers’ Rights Program won a $33,000.00 settlement for a domestic worker in a case brought under the New York State Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, which guarantees basic workplace protections for domestic workers.

Our client, a Mexican national worked as a nanny and domestic worker for over six years. During that time she suffered significant minimum wage and overtime violations, as well as verbal abuse and sexual harassment at the hands of her employer. Catholic Migration Services litigated the case in Queens County Supreme Court with assistance from co-counsel from LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and reached a settlement shortly before trial in April. 

In the words of our client, “I feel very fortunate that I met the lawyers at Catholic Migration Services. They helped me and defended my rights. I am very grateful.” Catholic Migration Services also helped the client obtain a T visa, as a victim of labor trafficking. The visa was approved in September 2017 and will allow her to remain in the United States with work authorization for up to four years, and to apply for permanent residency after three years. 

‘Expedited removal’ policy could affect Queens residents

On Tuesday, the current administration expanded an already existing “expedited removal” policy that could affect thousands of undocumented residents in Queens who may be subject to rapid deportation proceedings without a court appearance. Alexandra Goncalves-Peña, Managing Attorney with the Immigration Program at Catholic Migration Services spoke to the Queens Daily Eagle about the expansion and what this could mean for undocumented immigrants in Queens.

Read the full story in the Queens Daily Eagle: ‘Expedited removal’ policy could affect Queens residents

Queens Naturalization Workshop Assists Green Card Holders on the Road to Citizenship

On Saturday, June 22nd immigrant rights advocates from Catholic Migration Services, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and legal partners with Cleary Gottlieb, Fried Frank and Goldman Sachs offered free one-on-one guidance on naturalization applications at LaGuardia Community College. “In one day, we were able to assist over 50 lawful permanent residents begin their journey to U.S. citizenship. We couldn’t do this important work without all of your commitment to the immigrant community and graciously offering your time on a Saturday” said Chloe Moore, naturalization counselor with Catholic Migration Services.

In addition to having a great turnout, immigrant rights advocates were able to save applicants thousands of dollars on application fees. Volunteers helped to complete 36 full and partial fee waivers, totaling a savings of $23,265


Media Coverage:

Naturalization Clinic in Queens, aired June 22nd – Visiones, WNBC-TV
Free Naturalization Clinic, aired June 22nd – NBC Today, WNBC-TV
Ofrecen taller gratuito sobre ciudadanía para todos los residentes del área triestatal, aired June 13th – Edicion Digital Nueva York, WXTV Univision 41
[Photos: Catholic Migration Services]

Ofrecen taller gratuito sobre ciudadanía para todos los residentes del área triestatal

José León, abogado de inmigración con Catholic Migration Services y Yleana Roman abogada con New York Lawyers for the Public Interest fueron entrevistados en Edición Digital Nueva York por medio de Univision para promover la próxima taller de naturalización en Long Island City, Queens.

Taller de Naturalización
Cuando: Sabado, 22 de Junio de 2019 desde la 9:00 a.m. hasta la 5:00 p.m.
Donde: LaGuardia Community College ubicada en 31-10 Thomson Avenue, E Atrium, Long Island City, NY 11101
Nota: Para registrarse para este taller, favor de llamar (212) 225-4400 o envia un mensaje de texto a (718) 866-3687.

Vea la entrevista en Edicion Digital Nueva York por medio de Univision: Ofrecen taller gratuito sobre ciudadanía para todos los residentes del área triestatal

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP Honored at 5th Annual Sunset Reception

On Thursday, June 13, at the 5th Annual Sunset Reception in Brooklyn, Catholic Migration Services honored Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, recipient of the 2019 Public Service Award for outstanding pro bono work to help New York’s immigrants become U.S. citizens.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has offered invaluable support to the naturalization efforts of Catholic Migration Services, providing attorneys, paralegals, volunteers, and interns for naturalization workshops.

“With their support, Catholic Migration Services has been able to significantly increase the amount of Legal Permanent Residents we are able to serve. Last year the naturalization team assisted over 600 LPRs”, said Chloe Moore, Naturalization Coordinator. “Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has helped field over 700 hotline calls, getting in touch with hotline callers, completing a basic preliminary screening for naturalization, and then scheduling them for intake at the offices in Brooklyn and Queens.”

Thank you for supporting the 5th Annual Sunset Reception. It was a successful event that, like in past years have brought together the New York and Brooklyn law communities to help raise funds to enable Catholic Migration Services to carry out its mission of “welcoming the stranger in our midst.” A great opportunity to mix, mingle, and network with a community dedicated to social justice, we hope you will continue to support our work in underserved immigrant communities in Brooklyn and Queens.

[Photos: Catholic Foundation of Brooklyn and Queens]

Thank You to Our Diamond Sponsors!

 

 

Thank You to Our Gold Sponsors!

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Cullen and Dykman LLP
Mark & Suzanne Colodny

Thank You to Our Silver Sponsors!

Iannelli Construction Co., Inc.

Thank You to Our Bronze Sponsors!

Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP
Michael J. Holland, Esq. and Patricia Holland
Levy Ratner, P.C.
Moris Duffy Alonso & Faley
Rosato Firm P.C.

Attorney General James and Governor Cuomo Announce Lawsuit Against Queens Landlord for Violating Rent Stabilization Laws And Tenant Harassment

Earlier this month Attorney General Letitia James and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a lawsuit against Zara Realty Holding Corp., its principals, and affiliated entities for repeatedly violating rent stabilization laws and harassing tenants at their Queens apartment buildings. The defendants, who own and manage at least 2,500 rent-stabilized apartments in 38 buildings in and around Jamaica, Queens, have taken advantage of their tenants, who are largely immigrant middle- and low-income families, by charging them illegal fees and rents, and requiring that they sign illegal leases.

The complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court, alleges that Zara Realty has spent years evading and circumventing rent stabilization laws in order to scam tenants out of thousands upon thousands of dollars. Zara Realty often illegally demands and charges new tenants illegal key money, room reservation fees, advanced rent, and excessive security deposits. Tenants who continue to reside in Zara Realty buildings are often illegally charged late fees and fees for services to which they are entitled to for free such as regular apartment maintenance.

For years, Catholic Migration Services has represented Queens tenants who have fallen victim to the harassment and unscrupulous tactics of Zara Realty. Providing legal, advocacy and organizing resources, Catholic Migration Services continues to combat predatory landlords and represents low-income New Yorkers living in Queens free of charge.

Read the full press release from the New York Attorney General’s Office: Attorney General James and Governor Cuomo Announce Lawsuit Against Queens Landlord for Violating Rent Stabilization Laws And Tenant Harassment