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Legal Services

African Services Committee provides free civil legal services and immigration representation to people living with HIV. ASC also offers free legal services to African and Caribbean immigrant women and girls (cisgender women, transgender women, and gender non-conforming femmes) who have faced some form of gender-based violence. In addition, African Services Committee offers low fee immigration services for immigrants regardless of HIV status.  

ASC Covid-19 Update 

Please see the following for contact information regarding legal immigration services during this time:

You can reach ASC’s legal hotline by calling 929-269-6494. We accept calls Monday through Friday 9am-5pm. Please be aware that calls to the hotline are not answered. The hotline functions as a voicemail box that collects messages that are listened to by staff or volunteers at a later time. Calls are answered in the order they are received. Please leave a message with your name, number, preferred language, and the reason or services for which you are calling. You will receive a call back from our staff within 5 business days. At this time, we are not able to help people petition for family members abroad or to take cases that are before the immigration court. We can however assist with work permits, DACA applications, Citizenship, Green Cards, asylee/refugee petitions, FOIAs, Affirmative Asylum, U-Visas and more.

Se puede alcanzar la línea de ayuda legal llamando a 929-269-6494. Aceptamos llamadas de Lunes a Viernes desde las nueve de la mañana hasta la cinco de la tarde. Favor de saber que las llamadas no son contestadas inmediatamente. Se deja mensajes de voz que son revisados por empleados o voluntarios en otro tiempo. Se devuelven las llamadas en el orden que son recibidos. Favor de dejar un mensaje con su nombre completo, número de teléfono, idioma preferido, y la razón por la cual llamaste o los servicios que desea. Se regresará su llamada entre cinco días después de dejarlo. Ahora, no podemos tomar casos en cual se va a peticionar un miembro de la familia quien vive afuera de los Estados Unidos, o casos que están enfrente de la corte de inmigracion. Si podemos ayudar con casos para solicitar un permiso para trabajar, DACA, TPS, ciudadanía, residencia permanente en los Estados Unidos, asilo y algunos otros. 

Our legal team is staffed by multilingual attorneys, paralegals and law interns and provides representation in the following areas:

Action NYC Program

Working in partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), African Services Committee (ASC) provides legal advice and representation to immigrants residing in New York City with straightforward immigration cases, including, but not limited to travel documents, work authorizations, family petitions, Lawful Permanent Residency, Naturalization, Removal of Conditions for certain Lawful Permanent Residents, DACA and TPS. Also, through this program, ASC has a limited ability to also help immigrants residing in NYC with complex immigration cases including, but not limited to Asylum, U-Visa, VAWA self-petitions, consular processing for family petitions for relatives living abroad, and representation before the immigration court. 

 

AIDS Institute Grant (“AI”)

The AIDS Institute (AI) legal program, funded by the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, provides legal services for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS as well as family stabilization support services.  The program requires that at least one member of the family be HIV or AIDS positive, be a resident of one of the five boroughs in NYC and have an income below 425% of the poverty guidelines.  

AI provides a wide range of legal services to our eligible clients including:

  • Housing and eviction prevention
    • i.e., landlord/tenant disputes regarding non-payment of rent; holdover actions; or non-repair issues affecting the tenant’s ability to live in their apartment or building.
  • Discrimination and HIV related confidentiality issues
  • Immigration assistance focusing on family reunification and stabilization.
    • i.e., family-based petitions, asylum, SIJS, naturalization
  • Government benefit
    • i.e., Medicaid and Medicare, HASA, food stamps, SSI, SSDI
  • Family
    • i.e., child custody and visitation, child support, guardianship, and uncontested divorces
  • Advance directives
    • i.e., standby guardianships, living wills and health care proxies.

  

Immigrant Opportunity Initiative (IOI) 

Through the Immigrant Opportunity Initiatives (IOI) program, African Services Committee is able to provide legal advice and services to low-income immigrants related to gaining and maintaining immigration status and moving along the path towards citizenship. 

Mother Cabrini’s Healthy Horizons Program

African Services Committee (ASC) as a result of a recent grant from Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, provides both mental health services and legal assistance with immigration matters for persons who have suffered trauma either fleeing persecution in their home countries, or due to violence they have suffered while residing in the United States. Many of the immigrants seeking help from ASC are women from West Africa who have fled female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. Others are African and Caribbean LGBT immigrants fleeing anti-homosexuality persecution in the home countries. Further, many immigrants from Central America are fleeing domestic terrorism committed by gangs and narco traffickers come to ASC seeking help navigating the immigration process in the United States. Finally, immigrants who have been the victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and violent crimes that occurred within the United States also seek assistance at ASC. Through this program, ASC is able to provide legal advice and representation to members from all of these populations that reside in either New York City or New York State. 

  

Pro Bono/Volunteer Program

The supervising attorney mentors and places cases with private law firms, as well as works with the pro bono coordinator to oversee volunteer and student recruitment/supervision. 

  

Ryan White Legal Services Program 

The Ryan White legal program provides legal services to people living with HIV who live below 425% of the poverty line. Through this program we provide a variety of civil legal services to Ryan White clients including: 

  • Housing 
    • i.e., landlord/tenant disputes regarding non-payment of rent; holdover actions; or non-repair issues affecting the tenant’s ability to live in their apartment or building.
  • Family 
    • i.e., child custody/visitation, guardianship, child support
  • Advance directives
    • i.e., powers of attorney, living wills, health care proxies.
  • Government benefits
    • i.e., HASA, food stamps, welfare, shelter allowances, SSI/SSDI
  • Immigration
    • limited to services that result in the client becoming a Person Residing Under the Color of Law (PRUCOL)
  • PRUCOL/Non-PRUCOL status assessments and letters of certification

 

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