Fund for Immigrant Justice
Renewed Hope for Immigrants
Please Support the Fund for Immigrant Justice Today!
NSC continues to fight for justice, fairness, and due process in our immigration legal system. For the past several years, these values have been under attack from policies and practices intended to separate immigrant families and to deny them opportunities for refuge and legal relief. In 2020, the pandemic and its disparate impact on the health and finances of communities of color further exacerbated the challenges faced by immigrant families. In 2021, the Biden Administration’s commitment to pursue pro-immigrant legislation and policies has restored hope that immigrants will be treated with greater fairness and justice.
We applaud the repeal of the Muslim ban, the pledge to restore annual refugee admissions to 125,000, and proposed legislation to create a path to citizenship for immigrant workers and families. While we are hopeful of the reparations to come, we know that there is still an immense amount of healing and work to be done. We are ready to assist immigrants in their pursuit of new opportunities for refuge, permanent status, and family reunification.
NSC maintains its commitment to provide legal representation to individuals in immigration matters and to provide legal information to communities as new policies are enacted. Through the Fund for Immigrant Justice, NSC can extend free legal services to more clients who face significant barriers to accessing services. Unaccompanied children, individuals without permanent shelter, persons in long-term care facilities, and those who have suffered significant financial hardships due to the pandemic or other reasons are some of the clients we represent in this program. We also work with community-based organizations to offer free legal clinics to their members and to provide legal information about DACA, citizenship, and other forms of legal relief.
In addition to supporting a full-time attorney to provide free legal services, the Fund for Immigrant Justice also allows us to assist eligible low-income clients with the costs of government filing fees and related expenses, including costs to obtain medical records, police reports, or civil surgeon exams, and translations.
One hundred percent of the dollars raised for the Fund for Immigrant Justice will go to serving clients and eliminating barriers to access. By investing in the Fund for Immigrant Justice, you will help ensure that immigrants who are seeking an opportunity to begin a new life and to pursue available legal relief have a fair opportunity to make their claims with the aid of an attorney.
Immigrant Justice Program 2020
In the past year, NSC has represented over 50 clients with support from the Fund for Immigrant Justice. Active cases range from work permits and DACA to naturalization, asylum cases, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and representation of clients in removal proceedings. Twenty clients were represented in asylum cases and fourteen in naturalization applications.
The asylum-seekers represented in this program were forced to flee Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and other countries. They have suffered past persecution, or fear future persecution, on account of political opinion, gender, sexual orientation, and several other reasons protected under asylum law. With the assistance of an NSC attorney, the clients are able to present their strongest case for protection and refuge.
Below are the stories of clients represented through the Immigrant Justice Program.
- Marta came to the United States when she was just seventeen years old. She was born in Guatemala and suffered verbal, psychological, and physical abuse as a child at the hands of her father. Marta worked to help support her family from an early age by cleaning and harvesting coffee in rural areas of Mexico and Guatemala. NSC now represents her in a pending asylum matter before the immigration court. While she awaits her next hearing and prepares for court, Marta now enjoys attending high school every day here in the US comforted in the knowledge she is not facing this process alone.
- Ricardo left Cuba after being imprisoned for speaking out against government corruption. A few years after entering the United States, he lost his work authorization and his job. He has been homeless for over a year and struggles with mental health issues. With FIJ funding, we have been able to work with Ricardo and are filing an affirmative asylum application based on his experiences in Cuba.
- Mariam was born in Cote D’Ivoire and entered the United States as a child. FIJ funding has enabled NSC to work with her as she applies for citizenship. She lives with an intellectual disability which prevents her from demonstrating the ability to read and write English, and to answer the necessary questions about U.S. history and civics. We are advocating on her behalf throughout the naturalization process to make sure she receives the medical exemptions and accommodations she requires.
- Angelica came to the United States from Colombia in the 1990s and was ordered to be removed nearly 15 years later. She is the sole caretaker of her elderly United States citizen husband who suffers from Alzheimer’s and dementia and requires around-the-clock care. Angelica is elderly as well and is recovering from her own surgery. The COVID-19 pandemic places her and her husband at great medical risk and has caused them financial hardship. NSC’s representation began post-order and we have been successful in advocating for a deferral of her removal. Angelica would have been unable to afford representation with the FIJ program.
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