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New Website Connects Pro-Bono Lawyers with Immigrants in Need of Help (NY)

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

New Website Connects Pro-Bono Lawyers with Immigrants in Need of Help

"ALBANY - After a 47-year-old Peruvian woman who has lived in the U.S. for 16 years discovered her husband was abusing two of her daughters, she needed legal help applying for her youngest daughter's visa for crime victims in Putnam County.

In Sullivan County, a 30-year-old Mexican woman who has lived in the U.S. for 13 years with her four U.S. citizen children was abused by her husband and she's now eligible to apply for a visa for crime victims.

Nearby in Orange County, a 19-year-old Mexican man who came to the U.S. when he was a toddler to escape his abusive father needs assistance from an attorney to apply for a special visa for immigrant youth.

These undocumented immigrants are all in need of pro-bono legal help and their cases are being advertised on a new web portal run by the state's Liberty Defense Project and Catholic Charities to connect them with volunteer immigration attorneys.

The new website funded by the state brings attention to Catholic Charities, which has placed 105 pro bono cases with more than 230 volunteer attorneys throughout New York. Every volunteer receives expert legal training to file applications for asylum-seekers, crime victims, juveniles or individuals trying to reunite with family members.

Patricia Gunning, a former Special Prosecutor and Inspector General for the Justice Center who is running for Rockland County District Attorney, is a volunteer with Catholic Charities. Her first case was helping a young girl who was a victim of sexual abuse..."

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