LaGuardia Naturalization Clinic Served 65 Immigrant Clients

By David Brand

A July naturalization clinic at LaGuardia College served 65 immigrant New Yorkers and helped clients save $21,580 in filing fees, say New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.

It was just the beginning of a long process for clients and a lasting commitment for the attorneys who assisted them.

The clinic, which the Eagle reported on last month, was organized by the NYLPI and Catholic Migration Services and featured a team of pro bono attorneys from Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton LLP and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP..

Since the clinic, NYLPI has also received more than 100 calls to their immigration assistance hotline.

The workshop series has also succeeded in galvanizing attorneys interested in tackling immigration-related issues, said Annamaria Santamaria, program associate of Pro Bono Programs at NYPLI.

Last month, Santamaria told the Eagle lawyers have reached out to the organization determined to assist noncitizens, including green card holders, facing uncertain futures amid increased Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity.

“There has been a lot of motivation, particularly post-[2016 Presidential] election, because people are interested in getting involved in immigration law,” Santamaria said “The attorneys volunteering are committed on a personal level and they are invested. We have had a lot of people coming back because the nature of the work is so close to home [as well as] a lot of new interest.”

The next workshop will take place on Saturday, December 1.

Volunteer attorneys from the law firms of Arnold & Porter, Cleary Gottlieb, Fried Frank and Simpson Thacher, as well as volunteers from Goldman Sachs, assists immigrants with naturalization forms. // Photo Courtesy of NYLPI