31 Jul

At the Border

Laredo, TX

At the border, an LSA staff member translates with compassion

July 30, 2018 — Melina Gonzalez, LSA’s Immigration Outreach Coordinator, spent a week  in Laredo TX this July, volunteering as a translator for women detained at the Mexican border and pro bono lawyers that traveled there to help them.  Below is the message she shared with LSA staff and friends.

Melina’s message reminds us of the difference a compassionate presence can make for those in crisis.  It also reminds us that the challenges faced by immigrant families persist.  In our largely immigrant neighborhood of East Harlem, in New York City, where immigrants are central to the city’s history and identity, our commitment to immigrant neighbors remains strong.

We thank Melina for her service, and we are proud of her commitment to helping families, both here and in Laredo.


“I just want to be with my family!”

I have only been in Laredo TX for three days, and I have already witnessed more suffering and injustice then I have seen in all my years working with the immigrant communities in NYC. All I hear from these  woman is, “I want to be with my family!” As an immigrant woman and mother, I can’t bear the thought of not being with my children.

We are not allowed to show any affection to the women we are interviewing—this has been the most difficult part of my journey. I feel the need to comfort them, but I cannot. So I focus all my energy in my work as a translator and do the best I can to make sure all their questions are answered and that all the details of their cases are communicated to the lawyers.

I want to thank all of you for your continued support and affection. It’s because of all of the support of my family, friends and coworkers that I can be here helping this group of lawyers to make a difference in so many ways for the women that are detained in Laredo, TX.

 With much gratitude,

Melina

22 Jun

Keep Immigrant Families Together

LSA Family Health Service stands against family separation and for family reunification.

The current immigration crisis in which children are being separated from their parents resonates with us as an organization that:

  • strives to keep families in crisis together;
  • works closely with immigrant families in East Harlem who sacrifice so much to make a better future for their children;
  • provides mental health services to families experiencing the trauma of being separated from their loved ones in coming to this country;
  • is made up of trained professionals who understand the fragility of a developing child and the lasting trauma that separation from a parent can cause;
  • is a community of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.
We urge our legislators and government agencies to return the children quickly and prevent the toxic trauma to children that results from prolonged separation from parents. And we urge them to begin serious work on an immigration policy that is moral, just and humane, and to ensure that this tragedy is never repeated.

What we’re doing to help

For the families we serve, immigration policies that result in families being indiscriminately torn apart have increased the levels of toxic stress in individuals, families, and the community at large. These effects are likely to have long-lasting consequences and intergenerational layers of traumatic stress.

While policy-level changes are essential, the services immigrant families receive through our programs, including a supportive and safe environment, mitigate some of the negative experiences of trauma and loss.

Our on-staff Immigration Outreach Coordinator continues to provide up to date information and resources to families. In the past year, over 1,000 people have participated in our Know Your Rights workshops, and over 400 people received free, on-site immigration legal assistance.

Our counseling and support groups give community members an opportunity to discuss their concerns and fears about immigration policies and the current situation at the border.

We are seeking speakers of indigenous languages in our community to provide translation help to RAICES, a Texas-based organization working to reunite families.

We will continue to mobilize our community to respond in any way we can.

What you can do

Cayuga Centers in East Harlem is looking for Spanish-speaking foster families that would be wiling to temporarily care for immigrant children.  People willing to foster should be Spanish-speaking, live in New York City, and have a bedroom for the child. If you are interested in serving in this role, call the agency’s Home Finding department at 718-860-1656.

Volunteer as a Child Advocate for a unaccompanied migrant child. A Child Advocate is an adult who volunteers to spend time with and advocate on behalf of an individual unaccompanied immigrant child while he or she is subject to deportation proceedings.  Visit Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights for details

The New York Immigration Coalition offers a list of resources for those who wish to take action, including links and referrals to upcoming rallies, information on the most recent immigration legislation, and links to volunteer opportunities and petitions.

Contact your legislators and urge them to close loopholes that allow for family separation. Tell them that you want our government to return separated children to their parents immediately. (Look up contact information for your representatives here.)

Join LSA in the End Family Separation March and Rally taking place on June 30th, 10am – 2pm.  Click here for more details on how to participate.

Make a donation to support LSA Family Health Service and our work with immigrant families in East Harlem.

Updated as of June 23, 2018

29 Sep

Know Your Rights Forum

Know Your Rights Forum

Come and learn about immigration fraud and immigrants’ rights, along with various services that are available to the community!

Venga y aprenda sobre el fraude en asuntos de inmigración, los derechos de los inmigrantes y servicios que están disponibles para la comunidad!

For more information/Para más información:

Melina Gonzalez,  646-672-5200

Know Your Rights Forum

29 Sep

Legal Aid Society Immigration Legal Clinic

Immigration Resources

 

Legal Aid Society Immigration Legal Clinic

Through the Legal Aid Society/Robin Hood Legal Services Initiative at LSA Family Health Service – free immigration legal clinic, open to the public, by appointment. Legal Aid staff offer free immigration advice.

To make an appointment, call (646) 672-5200. 

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Clínica gratuita de inmigración, abierto al público, con cita previa. Abogados del Legal Aid Society ofrecen asesoramiento libre inmigración.

Para una cita, llame al (646) 672-5200.

28 Sep

CUNY Citizenship Now! Legal Clinic

Free immigration services, offered in partnership with CUNY Citizenship Now! Open to all members of the community. Please call for an appointment: 646-672-5200.

Servicios de inmigración gratis. Por favor llame para una cita: 646-672-5200.

CUNY Citizenship Now provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population.

23 Sep

DACA Know Your Rights Forum/ DACA Conozca Sus Derechos

DACA Know Your Rights Forum

Come and learn about DACA renewal and immigrants’ rights, along with various services that are available to the community!

Venga y aprenda sobre la renovación de DACA y los derechos de los inmigrantes y servicios que están disponibles para la comunidad!

The deadline for DACA recipients to renew is October 5th.  Free legal help is available!

 La fecha límite para renovar DACA es el 5 de octubre. Hay servicios legales gratuitos disponibles.

For more information/Para más información:

Melina Gonzalez,  646-672-5200

DACA Know Your Rights Forum

21 Sep

CUNY Citizenship Now! Legal Clinic

Free immigration services, offered in partnership with CUNY Citizenship Now! Open to all members of the community. Please call for an appointment: 646-672-5200.

Servicios de inmigración gratis. Por favor llame para una cita: 646-672-5200.

CUNY Citizenship Now provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population.

14 Sep

CUNY Citizenship Now! Legal Clinic

Free immigration services, offered in partnership with CUNY Citizenship Now! Open to all members of the community. Please call for an appointment: 646-672-5200.

Servicios de inmigración gratis. Por favor llame para una cita: 646-672-5200.

CUNY Citizenship Now provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population.

14 Sep

Research and Innovation

LSA is embedding research into each of our programs to stay at the forefront of human service delivery

Below are some of the research efforts being made in our programs. The goal is to deepen our understanding of the community and to continue improving our services to help families move past the barriers to well-being that result from poverty.

Early Learning

New York University is working with families in the Parenting and Child Development program to research family makeup and its impact on parent-child bonding and language development. The aim is to create and pilot a new intervention program that will promote parent-child language interactions during common, everyday activities at home.

Greening and Asthma Prevention

The Environmental Health program is participating in several national and local studies that investigate the relationship between environment and public health. One study evaluates the health benefits of renovating affordable housing with “green” materials and technologies. Another study is looking into the impact of asthma management support for high-risk adult asthmatics. Finally, in partnership with Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the New York Academy of Medicine, the program is participating in a study focused on the prevention and control of mold, which can trigger asthma symptoms and other adverse health conditions.

Reaching Immigrants

In 2016, our Advocacy program partnered with the Mexican Initiative for Deferred Action (MIDA) to do grassroots outreach in the community in order to provide immigration resources to eligible individuals. Data was collected to learn how DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) affects the lives of those who obtain it.

Tracking Health Trends

Two MD-MPH students from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are looking at Nursing data from 2012 to 2015 to help us understand health trends in our patient population. Thanks to a grant from the Sills Foundation, LSA embarked on a 3-year capacity-building ​project to develop agency-wide​ and program specific​ ​metrics to better measure ​impact and to implement best practices in the use of data systems​ to capture key information. ​


Photo caption: In 2016, LSA nurses made 860 home visits to provide prenatal and post-partum care.  Photo by Micah Rubin.

07 Sep

CUNY Citizenship Now! Legal Clinic

Free immigration services, offered in partnership with CUNY Citizenship Now! Open to all members of the community. Please call for an appointment: 646-672-5200.

Servicios de inmigración gratis. Por favor llame para una cita: 646-672-5200.

CUNY Citizenship Now provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population.