The Bishop Francis Center for Legal Immigration Services

Immigration Assistance Program

The Immigration Assistance program provides assistance to clients with immigration needs by providing low-cost and pro bono legal assistance in all phases of immigration and naturalization proceedings, including representation in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court and assistance in any matter involving immigration and citizenship. Program staff is available to provide educational workshops to groups on immigration law and current immigration issues. We have experience with a wide range of cases, including but not limited to family petitions, consular processing, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (including family court representation), asylum, withholding of removal, cancellation of removal, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), waivers, and humanitarian relief including VAWA, U visas, and T visas. All cases are handled by either an attorney or a Department of Justice accredited representative.

Location
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark
Bishop Francis Center for Legal Immigration Services
976 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: (973) 733-3516; Fax: (973) 733-9631

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday; 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - by appointment only

Walk-in days for initial consultations only (no appointment required):
Tuesday mornings, 9-11 a.m.
Thursday afternoons, 3-5 p.m.

There is a consultation fee of $60. All fees are payable by a money order only.




Immigration Detainees

Catholic Charities also provides crucial services to a vulnerable and often voiceless population. In coordination with several other local non-profit agencies, we provide screening and pro se assistance at the Essex County Detention facility in Newark and the Hudson County Detention facility in Kearny. We conduct in-depth interviews with immigrant detainees and provide pro se assistance, including declaration preparation and country conditions research. We also facilitate and promote the referral of cases for representation by legal service providers. To efficiently and effectively carry out these duties we also recruit, supervise, train and work with volunteer lawyers and law students.

If you know someone in the Essex County or Hudson County Detention Facilities seeking assistance, please call Catholic Charities at 973-733-3516 to be directed to an appropriate attorney.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN (contact Catholic Charities at 973-733-3516 to be directed to these programs).

Safe Release Support Program

The Safe Release Program helps to reunite migrant children with their families in the United States. These children often face violence and trauma in their home country or on their journey to the U.S. The Safe Release Program ensures that they are protected, cared for, and given access to the services they need.

We are a Safe Release Program site, and we assist families when they are at their most vulnerable - when they need guidance through the complex process to reunite with their children.

Legal Orientation Program for Custodians

To the sponsor(s) who will take care of a released immigrant child, our program provides information relating to:

  • The Immigration court proceedings,
  • Benefits that the children are eligible for,
  • Free or Low cost services, and
  • How to locate an immigration attorney.



For support services to refugees, asylees, Cuban-Haitian entrants, and victims of human trafficking, please call 201-325-4800.



John Westervelt
Chief Executive Officer





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