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What We Do Immigration

Welcoming and Integrating Immigrants

Through our immigration and refugee assistance work, we assist immigrants and refugees in their new New York home. We help newcomers reunite with their families, make their home a safe place, learn English, prepare for citizenship, and apply their talents and skills to gain employment. Our services are available in New York City, Lower Hudson Valley, Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, and Ulster counties. Though our immigrant and refugee assistance hotlines we serve people from throughout the United States.

Our
Impact

19,530

families given counsel
and protected from
exploitation

64,967

requests for
help answered
in 18 languages

416

newcomers helped
to obtain
work authorization

613

individual refugees
resettled

WWD_Immigration

Our Programs and Services

We provide professional, confidential legal consultations, representation and assistance to documented and undocumented immigrants, refugees and newcomers of all nationalities, ethnicities and religions.

Services provided in multiple languages, include:

  •   Citizenship applications
  •   Immigration court representation
  •   Legal residence petitions for relatives such as spouses, children, parents, siblings and victims of violence
  •   Work authorization applications
  •   Information about pending immigration and naturalization cases
  •   Legal representation in asylum cases and for long-time residents to avoid deportation
  •   Petitions for battered spouses and children
  •   Temporary Protected Status applications
  •   Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  •   Green card replacement
  •   Advice on preventing and reporting fraud and exploitation. 

Our qualified staff works to prevent immigrant exploitation by providing honest information and solid legal advice to newcomers in multiple languages.

We provide assistance in:

  • Obtaining accurate information
  • Learning how to avoid exploitation
  • Reporting fraud

We provide English classes and citizenship preparation classes to immigrants and refugees in local parishes, schools and agencies in neighborhoods throughout New York. The COVID pandemic provided the impetus to expand our technology to effectively continue instruction remotely.

We provide crucial legal and support services and residences to children in temporary,  care in New York as most await to being placed with a relative, or for some being transfer to foster care.

We offer legal representation in court so children don’t have to go in front of a judge alone and help potential custodians through the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians (LOPC) to better understand their roles, responsibilities and the immigration court process. 

We connect children in need of specialized medical or psychological care due to past trauma with Terra Firma, an innovative medical-legal partnership between the Children’s Hospital at  Montefiore (Bronx, NY) and the Children’s Health Fund.

Through our outreach work we assist refugees and trafficking victims navigate complex U.S. government systems. Our dedicated case managers and job trainers help survivors access material assistance, learn English, and find work so they can begin new lives.

To help refugees resettle and create a safe new home, we guide them toward self-sufficiency through intensive case management, cultural orientation, job preparation, and job placement. We also assist refugees and other vulnerable individuals, including asylees, victims of trafficking, and special immigrants, to secur housing, food, clothing, and other essential necessities. Working with experienced case managers, our clients gain life and language skills, secure jobs, and work closely with volunteers to integrate into their new community.

We assist families reunite with their separated children, assist refugees fleeing fear and persecution in other countries, and assist those who wish to sponsor family members abroad.

We help individuals obtain work authorization, receive training on necessary safety skills, find  employment, adapt to new work environments, and integrate in their communities through multiple support services.

Through our employment advocacy work, we help immigrants learn if they are eligible to work legally in the United States.  And when eligible, we help them navigate complex paperwork and complete the applications needed for legal authorization to work. 

While protected by most labor laws, immigrants are especially vulnerable to unfair labor practices and are often subjected to workplace violations such as below minimum wages or non-payment of wages, long hours, no overtime pay, illegal deductions from wages, lack of meal breaks, exposure to health and safety violations, lack of protective equipment, no worker’s compensation, discrimination, harassment, and threats to report workers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Wage theft is the illegal underpayment or non-payment of wages owed to workers. If you’re a victim of wage theft, unlawful deductions, shorted hours, or more, you have the right to be compensated and treated fairly at work.

Regardless of your immigration status, if you worked in New York State and were not paid for those hours, you can file a claim with the New York State Department of Labor for unpaid wages. We can help you learn how to document your work, and report any issues you may have with an employer to the proper channels. 

Finding work can be difficult, but our job preparation and placement experts are here to help. If you have obtained status as a refugee, asylee, victim of trafficking, or other humanitarian process, we can work with you to help write resumes, develop solid interview skills, and teach you how to search for employment. In addition, we match qualified workers with employment opportunities, provide employment training, English instruction and help with preparing for the high school equivalency test. (GED).

We provide educational workshops, leadership training, and opportunities to empower and expand the skill sets of day laborers. Our programs offer OSHA approved safety and skills classes in knitting, sewing, and a variety of other occupations.

For two decades Catholic Charities has operated , this statewide, multilingual, immigration information and referral phone service provides fast, confidential and accurate answers about immigration and citizenship-related questions.

Call the Hotline at 212-419-3737
Monday-Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Or toll-free at 1-800-566-7636

Help for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children & Their Families
Thousands of immigrant children arrive in the United States each year alone and frightened without a relative or caring adult. Catholic Charities provides crucial legal and support services to children detained in temporary, federal shelter care in New York as they await reunification with a relative or transfer to foster care. We also offer legal representation in court so children don’t have to go in front of a judge alone.
And we help custodians and potential custodians through the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians (LOPC) to better understand their roles, responsibilities and the immigration court process.
Call 888-996-3848 to speak with an LOPC Children’s Center experts.

For case managers only:  Login to the LOPC Online Scheduling System (OSS) page to schedule appointments and orientations for the custodians you serve.

View/Download the Immigrant & Refugee Services brochure.

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