Three new Legal Services Grants are now available for New York’s immigrant community.
On November 30, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that a total of $3 million will be administered over three years by the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) to provide immigrants arriving in New York free immigration legal services and assistance. with critical application filings and required appearances. The initiative aims to help thousands of immigrants who arrived in New York this year.
The announcement builds on Governor Hochul’s commitment to help incoming immigrants with increased funding, with ONA currently providing $13 million in annual funding to nonprofit community providers to provide free legal assistance to immigrants. in need.
“New York State has always been a beacon of hope, welcoming newly arrived immigrants with the promise of opportunity,” Governor Hochul said. “By providing them with the legal tools and resources they need to thrive, New York State will continue to uplift those trying to build better lives for themselves and their families.”
The ONA will immediately dedicate $3,000,000 in new grants over three years to provide these free legal services to immigrants through Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS), the Archdiocese of New York, the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) and the response of immigrant lawyers. Collaborative (I-ARC). These providers already operate within ONA’s network of nonprofit organizations and offer their expertise to immigrants arriving in New York.
With these new grants, ONA will be able to expand its existing contracts and build its capacity to support ongoing services, including ensuring that the legal needs of newcomers are urgently addressed and supported throughout the process. ‘immigration. These resources will help more immigrants quickly and efficiently complete refugee claims and other immigration-related legal matters, including providing newcomer representation. Through CCCS and NYLAG, newly arrived immigrants can access free legal services, including but not limited to: change of address; change of location; asylum applications; assistance with their work authorization document (EAD); and defense against eviction.
Additionally, this new initiative will strengthen I-ARC’s coordination and training efforts while helping CCCS recruit pro bono pro bono lawyers to provide additional capacity and legal assistance to newcomers in addition to non-legal services.
As it currently stands, once an asylum claim is filed with the federal government, the applicant is not eligible for employment authorization until their asylum claim is pending. for 180 days. An asylum seeker can apply for their work permit 150 days after filing their asylum application in order to allow the possibility of receiving the approval of the work permit after 180 days. Once they receive their EAD approval, they will be allowed to seek employment to support themselves and their families.
“The safety and well-being of migrants coming to our state is a priority as individuals and families find themselves in uncharted territory trying to acclimate to an entirely new world,” said Secretary of State New York, Robert J. Rodriguez. “This additional funding for legal services will help our partners help the incoming migrant population understand and navigate the various government programs aimed at assisting them. New York has always been a welcoming place for people from all over the world. This is what makes our state such a dynamic and cultural place.
“There has never been a greater need for immigrant legal services in New York. As new Americans arrive in our great state from around the world, New York continues to be a beacon of hope and humanity,” said Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz. “I am delighted with the Governor’s commitment of an additional $3 million to help address the already existing backlog of cases and help immigrants obtain legal services so they can continue to live in New York.
To access these services, individuals can call the New Americans Helpline at 1-800-566-7636 to be referred to the nearest legal provider or legal clinic. The New Americans Hotline operates from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. All calls are confidential. Support is available in over 200 languages.
For more information, visit dos.ny.gov/office-new-
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