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.
Right to counsel coalition members, tenants, and community leaders gathered for town hall forum on legislation signed into law August 2017.
On Thursday, April 12th right to counsel coalition members, tenants, and community leaders gathered for a Town Hall Forum in the gymnasium of St. Bartholomew Catholic Academy in Elmhurst, New York to address legislation signed into law on August 11, 2017. Right to Counsel mandates universal access to legal representation for low-income tenants in New York City and is the first City in the nation to establish this type of legislation.
Coalition members, tenants, and community leaders highlighted the history of Intro 214 and its amendments originally introduced in March of 2014 by Council Members Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson. Approximately 150 Queens tenants packed the school gymnasium to learn why the Right to Counsel is so important, the eligibility requirements, how to find an attorney, which Queens zip codes will begin implementing RTC, and how to build tenant power.
Queens tenants raise their hands during interactive forum.
After learning that 11433, 11434, and 11373 are the first Queens zip codes to implement RTC, tenants later broke out into small groups facilitated by attorneys and organizers for an opportunity to ask questions, discuss ways to protect themselves and their neighbors, and to complete commitment cards asking tenants to start taking action and ownership of this new tool.
Intro 214-B, the final bill that passed last year, ensures at the end of 5 years, all income eligible tenants will be ensured an attorney when fighting their eviction in housing court. Tenants who are over income, have the right to a consultation with an attorney. The bill also provides for NYCHA tenants whose cases happen in administrative hearings, to have representation as well.
The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition is made up of tenant organizing groups, tenant advocates, homeless advocates, senior advocates, disability advocates, academics, legal services organizations and more! We led the campaign that resulted in the passage of Local Law 136, which ensures that low-income tenants are represented in eviction cases by attorneys when they defend their rights and their homes. The Coalition is actively organizing and advocating while this law is being phased in.
*Ms. Diaz, a Colombian immigrant, lives in one of the few rent stabilized apartments left in Long Island City, New York. Long Island City is a neighborhood in Queens that has seen massive gentrification and rezoning in recent years, which has transformed the once industrial neighborhood to primarily high-rises designed for higher income tenants. Working class families have been aggressively targeted due to increased property values.
Ms. Diaz came to Catholic Migration Services in the Fall of 2016 after she was sued in a holdover proceeding in which her landlord alleged that she had not maintained her rent stabilized apartment as her primary residence. Our team successfully argued dismissal of the case due to errors in service of the court papers. Ms. Diaz’s landlord, unrelenting, sued her again making the same allegations. Again, we fought for Ms. Diaz and the landlord was forced to discontinue. In the final rendition of this case, Catholic Migration Services brought a motion to dismiss on several legal procedural grounds. After oral argument, the court dismissed the case, this time making it much more difficult for the landlord to succeed in the future. As a result, Ms. Diaz and her family may peacefully remain in their apartment for the foreseeable future.
*Although the account of this case is real, the name has been changed to protect the privacy of our client.
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
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 Voz: El legado de Yolanda Coca
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.