NY Bar $15K Award Helped Catholic Charities Expand Immigrant Legal Services for Children

Posted on September 13, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Gave Hope of Reunification to Parents Separated from Their Children

Foundation Board member Martin Minkowitz (second from left) with (L-R) Emma Doughty, Martin Minkowitz, Kelly Agnew-Barajas, Gladys Valverde and Samuel Heptig.

Thanks to significant help from the New York Bar Foundation– a total of $15,000 over two years - Catholic Charities Community Services Archdiocese of New York’ Central American Minors program was able to help hundreds of immigrant families apply for reunification and humanitarian parole

This key program gave parents hope they could legally reunify with their children after years of separation by allowing parents lawfully residing in the United States to apply for their children to reunify in the United States via the US Refugee Program. With support from The New York Bar Foundation, Catholic Charities was able to facilitate the lawful reunification of families through the US Refugee Program.

With help from The New York Bar Foundation, Catholic Charities NY assisted 134 parents apply for their 240 children and qualifying family members. Among these cases, 28 refugees arrived safely in the US and reunified with their family members.  In addition, 66 individuals receive Humanitarian Parole and reunified with their families in the US.

However, earlier this year, the Trump Administration announced the cancellation of the Central American Minors Program. Catholic Charities NY was responsible for informing scores of parents at that time that their hopes of reuniting with their children were ruined. Sixteen cases had already been approved for Humanitarian Parole, but the status was rescinded. In one case, the valid visa had prompted the mother to purchase a plane ticket for her daughter. Catholic Charities helped these sixteen parents in this difficult situation to file Request for Review petitions.

The New York Bar Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the New York State Bar Association.  All told, the New York Bar Foundation allocated more than $640,000 in grants to organizations across New York in 2018 to assist in:

• Increasing public understanding of the law

• Improving the justice system and the law

• Facilitating the delivery of legal services

• Enhancing professional competence and ethics

Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

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