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.
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
This week the New York Times Editorial Board endorsed several measures that Catholic Migration Services and Queens tenants have been advocating to Albany legislators. These proposals would eliminate some of the loopholes in state laws that currently allow landlords to impose significant rent increases that often make rent regulated apartments unaffordable. Catholic Migration Services has been working closely with tenants and coalition partners to advocate for the critical changes now supported by the Times. These changes include restricting how landlords can eliminate “preferential rents” and eliminating the incentive to evict tenants (“vacancy bonuses”).
Read the full story in the New York Times: Voters Can Keep Housing Affordable
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, District Attorney Richard Brown, and the Queens Immigration Task Force held their Annual Immigrant Know Your Rights Week Resource Fair and Legal Clinic on Thursday, June 28th at Queens Center Mall. Over 30 organizations and agencies participated in the resource fair and connected Queens immigrants with information for city services, nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups. A free legal clinic provided confidential consultations in areas of immigration, housing, employment, and domestic violence. Attorneys from Catholic Migration Services were available for legal consultations and an outreach team informed New Yorkers about the organization’s legal services.
Queens residents stop by the Immigrant Resource Fair for a chance to learn about new services, organizations, and agencies.
Queens immigrants chat with the outreach team of Catholic Migration Services to learn about the legal services and know your rights education available through the organization.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s Immigration Task Force is organizing a series of free informational “Know Your Rights” workshops and confidential legal clinics for immigrants from June 25 to June 29 and Catholic Migration Services has partnered with with the Borough President to bring these much needed services to the community. Taking part in a resource fair and one-on-one consultations, immigrants are encouraged to attend, seek resources and legal advice on immigration, housing and workers’ rights.
Read the full article via the Times Ledger: Katz announces inaugural Know Your Rights Week campaign
In a joint effort with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Catholic Migration Services will participate in Know Your Rights Week in conjunction with U.S. Congressmember Gregory Meeks, U.S. Congressmember Grace Meng and in partnership with State Senator Michael N. Gianaris, State Senator Jose Peralta, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, State Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry, City Councilmember Daniel Dromm, and City Councilmember Rory Lancman.
Thursday, June 28th – Immigration Resource Fair
Queens Center Mall, Macy’s Wing at 90-15 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst
4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Level 3 – Legal Clinic on Housing and Employment
4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: Level 2 – Organization Resource Tables
Languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Bengali, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, & Croatian
Friday, June 29th – One-on-one Consultations for those in Removal Proceedings or Seeking Asylum
Catholic Migration Service, Queens Office at 47-01 Queens Blvd., Suite 203B in Sunnyside
Read the full story via the Queens Chronicle: Free Immigrant Workshops 6/25-29
Click here to download the event flyer as a PDF.