Immigration services are the legal and administrative processes that support the immigration of people into a new country. They are regulated by federal agencies and professionals.
DYCD contracts with community-based organizations to provide assistance for immigrants who have been identified as needing help with their legal needs. This includes providing information and referrals, legal representation, and other support services.
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In contrast to criminal proceedings, where defendants have a right to a government-paid attorney, there is no such legal provision for immigrants. Consequently, immigrant New Yorkers face difficult decisions about whether to pay for private representation or rely on nonprofit programs that provide pro bono legal services.
To address this need, a number of cities, states and counties have established legal representation programs. Federal leadership is needed to establish and fund a nationwide program that will supplement, reimburse or match state and local programs.
Immigration Judges should be particularly sensitive to the scheduling needs of law school clinics and other pro bono representation programs that require time to recruit and train representatives. To that end, Judges should consider the need for a continuance when an individual respondent appears without a representative and make that request if appropriate. In addition, Immigration Judges should be open to working with local lawyer referral services to ensure that individuals have access to appropriate representation.
The goal of case management is to provide a continuum of services for clients. These services may include assessment, planning and implementation, coordination and facilitation, and monitoring. These services are offered through a client-centered, holistic approach that provides advocacy and communication and assists the client in accessing resources for medical, social, housing and financial support.
Social work case managers need to be able to recognize duplication of service and facilitate the development and expansion of systems that address needs. This requires reliable aggregate data from the assessment, implementation and monitoring phases of case management practice.
DYCD’s Comprehensive Services for Immigrant Families program connects newcomers to a variety of community services including ESOL and citizenship classes. The program serves families living in Community District 4. Learn more.
The federal government is responsible for all immigration services. It includes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which encompasses USCIS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Immigration law is constantly changing, and relying on someone who is not an attorney to prepare your paperwork can lead to mistakes that cost you time, money or even legal status. Skilled NYC immigration attorneys know all the options available to their clients and are committed to providing the best advice possible.
Legitimate immigration consultants and online immigration processors can help you fill out forms and submit them to USCIS and DOS for a lower fee than lawyers. However, relying on these non-lawyers gives you a false sense of security and can result in costly errors that put your immigration case in jeopardy. For a list of nonprofit legal services providers and their eligibility requirements, visit the Immigration Advocates Network’s resources. The firm of Nanthaveth & Associates also provides free consultations.
A professional immigration service provider can assist with filling out and preparing immigration documents. They can also review, check for errors and complete forms in accordance with USCIS regulations.
In addition to legal representation, some immigration services providers may also offer document translation or English and civics instruction. These individuals are usually not attorneys but are authorized to provide non-legal immigration assistance under a state law. They must be registered with the Attorney General’s office and maintain malpractice insurance or a surety bond.
A service member can get help with immigration-related issues from IER’s multilingual staff through the worker or employer hotlines. In addition, the military has a variety of programs that address immigration concerns. These include Military OneSource and IER. The latter provides a free immigration helpline for active duty and retired members and their family members. IER can assist with matters related to citizenship, naturalization and deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). In some cases, they can also represent service members before federal immigration agencies and courts including the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Board of Immigration Appeals.