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The Long Island City branch of the Queens Library is set to host at least two upcoming “Know Your Rights” seminars.
By Forum Staff
Additional “Know Your Rights” immigration seminars are being offered over the next couple of months, including in Queens, by the New York Department of State’s Office for New Americans, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday.
According to the administration, the seminars complement efforts of the Liberty Defense Fund, the nation’s first public-private immigrant legal defense initiative, to ensure impacted residents and communities across New York understand their rights and legal opportunities. The NY Department of State, two philanthropic allies—the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ford Foundation—and a statewide coalition of 182 advocacy organizations and legal entities, continue to work together to provide pro bono legal assistance and representation to immigrants, regardless of status, in New York.
On Thursday, Feb. 1, at 5 p.m., and Friday, March 16, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m., the Queens Library Long Island City branch (37-44 21st St.) will host the “Know Your Rights! Community Immigration Forums on Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”
For other seminar dates and locations, visit newamericans.ny.gov/calendar.html.
Cuomo launched the Liberty Defense Fund last March. The investment included in the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget committed $11 million toward the project, in addition to $400,000 via public-private contributions.
In response to changes in immigration policies by the federal government, the LDP, in partnership with Equal Justice Works, has placed attorneys and law students in communities with limited legal resources and high immigrant populations to address the scarcity of immigration attorneys in areas outside New York City. The initiative also works with established state partners and immigrant advocates, including Catholic Charities, to help expand access to legal services for immigrants, Cuomo noted.
“As Washington continues to roll back rights of immigrants living throughout this state and nation, this administration is taking steps to ensure these New Yorkers know their rights and have access to legal services, as well as a chance to remain at home,” the governor added. “In New York we know that our diversity is our strength and we will continue to uphold the principles of liberty and equality that this state and this nation were founded upon.”
According to the State, in addition to the seminars, the LDP will continue to:
• Provide legal assistance and representation to immigrants in New York through a network of pro bono attorneys, other legal professionals and law students.
• Assist immigrants in deportation proceedings.
• Assist in completing and filing applications for lawful permanent residence (also known as a green card), or temporary status, as well as work permits.
• Provide outreach and educational help to assist parents who are potentially at risk of deportation to fill appropriate forms and prepare emergency plans for the care of their children in case they are detained or deported. This will enhance the work already being done at centers run by the State Office for New Americans throughout New York.
“In today’s climate, this project can change New Yorkers’ lives,” said State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “New York will always fight for immigrant rights—no matter what draconian steps the federal government tries to instill on vulnerable communities.”