Local organizations honored for helping detainee immigrants in 2018 | WNYT.com

Local organizations honored for helping detainee immigrants in 2018

karen tararache
Created: January 09, 2020 11:36 PM

ALBANY - It is 'National Migration Week' and the Catholic Charities honored three organizations for their work helping the detainees that summer.

More than 300 migrants sent from the Southern Border arrived at the Albany County Jail in the Summer of 2018. 

John Lemelin, The Legal Project Paralegal recalled, "I remember a lot of paperwork, I remember stacks on my desk about this tall.'

Isabelle Rhacker, The Legal Project Immigration Attorney added, "But those were intake sheets, they didn't arrive with those we created those."

The detainees were met by volunteer attorneys coordinated by the New York Immigration Coalition, The Immigration Law Clinic at the Albany Law School, and The Legal Project.

Thursday night, the three organizations were honored by the Catholic Charities for their work.

"I think is important because it not just recognizes their work it shows the community that there are many opportunities to help those in need and maybe we can encourage other people to step forward," Walter Ayers said, Catholic Charities Commission on Peace and Justice Director.

The detainee immigrants came from 38 countries, speaking more than 20 languages and arrived at the Southern U.S. Border, to escape violence in their native country.

The detainees have since been transferred to a federal detention facility in Batavia in Western New York.

But as we learned, cases are still pending and work is still being done. 

"As of last count, which was four months ago, we only had maybe 60 people left in Batavia and just last week I heard from a volunteer who said that one of our clients ended up winning asylum with our help and assistance and I hear stories like that probably every other week," Sarah Rogerson said, Albany Law School Immigration Law Clinic Director.

Anyone looking to donate to the Immigrant Assistance Fund at The Legal Project can click, here

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