On Friday, October 18, 2013, NYLAG joins Council Member Mathieu Eugene, Chair of the Committee on Immigration Council Member, Daniel Dromm, members of the New York City Council, and fellow advocates at a press conference to bring attention to the surging practice of immigration fraud and to urge the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The event will be held at 10:00 A.M. in front of Saint Paul’s Church in the Village of Flatbush, located at 157 St. Paul’s Place in Brooklyn.

“To provide immigrants and their families with a pathway to citizenship is an act based in the very tradition and history of the United States. This is not simply a good deed; this is an urgent and necessary, humanitarian gesture that we as an American people must stand behind. While millions wait for meaningful reform, it is imperative that we address the proliferation of unscrupulous immigration practitioners who are swindling our hard working families,” states Council Member Mathieu Eugene.

“I thank Council Member Mathieu Eugene for inviting me to join him to address the unauthorized practice of immigration law,” Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) said. “It is a shame that people take advantage of those seeking immigration help, often when they are at their most vulnerable. My district office will also be hosting a forum on Oct. 30 at the Community Methodist Church of Jackson Heights in Queens to help individuals avoid scams and fake ploys such as these.”

“As advocates for access to justice, NYLAG has been at the frontlines of serving immigrants for numerous years, and we have seen the political tides wash over and around the issue of immigration reform. Yet, many of our clients continue to be without redress despite being contributing and essential members of society. We firmly believe that the needs of this population can no longer be ignored. It is a matter of human rights and human dignity as well as the economic vitality of our nation,” stated Immigrant Protection Unit’s Director, Irina Matiychenko, from NYLAG.

Following the conference, NYLAG’s Immigrant Protection Unit will conduct its regularly scheduled monthly Naturalization Clinic, advising individuals who hold green cards, are prescreened and qualified to remain in the US.  On November 6, 2013, in partnership with Councilmember Eugene, NYLAG will host an immigrant “know your rights” event. Attendees will receive a straight-forward description of the current federal immigration reform legislation being considered, the legislative procedures likely to be used in voting on such legislation, and a nuts-and-bolts workshop on how to prepare for the potential passage of an immigration reform bill.

Featured at the event will be a discussion surrounding the importance of applying now for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a step that will likely be a springboard to additional immigration benefits under any version of the DREAM Act that may be passed. In addition, staff from the Immigrant Protection Unit will be on hand to conduct screenings for other forms of immigration relief, including Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self Petitions, U-visas for crime victims, asylum, and Haitian Temporary Protected Status.