Photo: Courtesy of Unlocal.org
Immigrants and asylum seekers who come to the U.S. face a multitude of hurtles — especially under the president’s current administration. Coming to a new country and attempting to assimilate is challenging enough without the unfounded persecution they usually face. New York is, fortunately, a largely empathetic sanctuary city with plenty of housing, job prep, and legal resources for immigrants — and among them is UnLocal.
UnLocal, Inc. was founded in 2008 and offered online resources for immigrant New Yorkers. After a brief hiatus in 2011, it reemerged with the revised mission to give direct legal services to the city’s undocumented immigrants facing removal.
The nonprofit’s attorneys specialize in complex asylum cases that are not likely to get placed at other immigration legal service providers. Among many other immigration-related legal resources, they’ve created the Child Services Project (ICLS Project), which helps get undocumented children Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, as well as the LGBTQ+ Immigrant Youth Justice Project, which gives immigrant youth of color affirming legal aid.
Their Community Education Program for schools, organizations, and houses of worship, enables them to give free legal advice and education to NYC’s most difficult-to-reach undocumented residents. They also recently started a partnership with education nonprofit ImmSchools.
“Through this strategic and collaborative partnership, ImmSchools and UnLocal, Inc. will partner with schools to lead professional development for educators that equips them with knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively support undocumented and immigrant students,” explained UnLocal Executive Director Michele Lampach.
For those who want to help UnLocal’s efforts, and American immigrants in general, Lampach encourages supporting grassroots organizations, combating xenophobia when you see it happening, becoming more educated about the for-profit prison industry and advocating for comprehensive immigration reform.
“Without an overhaul of out immigration laws, families will continue to get separated as part of the deportation machine,” she explained.
More about UnLocal, Inc. can be found on their website.