NYLAG Prepares for President Obama’s Imminent Immigrant Relief Order
President Obama is expected to soon announce, perhaps as early as this week, executive action on immigration that could provide protection from deportation for millions of unauthorized immigrants. With as many as 100,000 low-income New York City residents estimated to be eligible, the implications for the City’s support systems are enormous. Legal service providers like NYLAG need to mobilize quickly. We look forward to working with our legal services colleagues, the City and State, elected officials, funders, and community organizations to create a coordinated approach that can help deserving immigrants safely and efficiently navigate the new legal landscape.
In preparation for what we know will be a period of unprecedented demand for legal services, and a chaotic and confusing time for vulnerable immigrants, NYLAG has developed an initial readiness plan:
Central to our strategy will be a series of large-scale legal clinics at schools, churches and other safe spaces where staff and pro bono volunteers can provide high volume screenings and assistance. While we have served over 1,600 immigrants via our clinic model already this year, the potential pool of applicants for administrative relief is on a scale we have not seen before, and one that will require us to leverage resources creatively. As a first step, we are discussing with our current pro bono partners how to best organize firm trainings to expand capacity rapidly.
To make sure that the public is provided with immediate and ongoing information, we have launched a new webpage (www.nylag.org/relief) where people can go for up-to-date information, flyers and clinic schedules, and have set up a new Executive Action Hotline (212-613-6597) and email address ([email protected]).
Our emphasis right now is on getting the word out to immigrant communities that a policy change is coming, and that we can help them prepare. In a time of heightened expectations, it is critical that immigrants are warned to be more vigilant than ever to avoid unscrupulous individuals and organizations that are not qualified to help them and can put them at risk.