Catholic Charities Hosted Free Community Legal Clinic in Newburgh

Helps Immigrants Along Path to Citizenship, Understand Rights and Responsibilities

NEWBURGH, NY – Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, in partnership with Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan & Ulster, hosted a free community Immigration Information Session and Legal Clinic at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh recently.
The path to lawful status can be a long, difficult, and frequently complicated journey. Catholic Charities strives to clear some of the confusion, dispel rumors, and provide accurate information and resources for immigrant families that attend the clinic.

Catholic Charities’ team of seven attorneys provided individual legal consultations to 53 immigrant families. The day’s events also included a “Know Your Rights” training program to help immigrants understand what they can, and should, do if they are contacted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), safety planning strategies, benefits and services information, and guidance on how to report and protect against fraud. Other topics addressed with participants included how to obtain a driver’s license and workers’ rights information.

“The path to citizenship is complex and frequently fraught with misinformation,” said Shannon Kelly, CEO, Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan & Ulster. “We are grateful to Mount Saint Mary College for hosting the clinic and to our immigration legal services colleagues for bringing these important legal clinics to our region and providing these valuable services free of charge to the newest members of our community,” added Ms. Kelly.

Seven volunteers, many of whom were bilingual, helped with translation and gathered background information from clinic attendees so that the legal team had the information necessary to provide the most appropriate advice and options. After meeting with the legal team, 28 individuals were found eligible for immigration benefits and 12 were scheduled for follow-up legal assistance.

Community partner ArchCare was onsite to provide basic medical information for attendees.

Catholic Charities will host the next Immigration Legal Services Clinic on Friday, June 21, at Dutchess Community College, 53 Pendell Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, from 9 am to 3 pm. Topics that may be covered include free application assistance for renewal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Green Card renewals, Know Your Rights during contact with ICE, information about available services and resources for immigrant families, and free immigration legal consultations for all in need.

To schedule an appointment for the next clinic, call (347) 921-0631 or email Individuals in need of assistance who are unable to attend a clinic should contact the Catholic Charities Newburgh Office of Immigration Services office at 845-562-4736, or call Catholic Charities’ Office for New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 for assistance in more than 200 languages.

To find out more about volunteer opportunities with Catholic Charities, visit