Hartford Public Library, affectionately noted as “a place like no other,” lives up to its motto as one of the first library systems to offer immigration legal services.
Today, on World Refugee Day, I had the honor of attending a naturalization ceremony at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Thirty-six men and women who left their homes and sought protection in the United States took the oath of allegiance and waved American flags as they were proclaimed citizens of the United States of America.
“Welcome to the United States.” This is what refugees and asylum seekers should hear when they first arrive in the United States, but unfortunately it is a welcome that often comes excruciatingly late, if at all.
Even before the Paris terrorist attacks in November, a CLINIC affiliate in Biloxi, Mississippi, was getting pushback for processing refugees.
The call by various politicians to make it even more difficult for refugees – particularly Syrians – to be admitted to the United States is causing fallout for several CLINIC affiliates.
Through creative programming and a sharp focus on immigrant integration, New American Pathways, an Atlanta-based CLINIC affiliate, contributes immensely to the integration of the 3,500 refugees it serves yearly. New American Pathways was established on October 1, 2014 after two long-standing organizations, Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta and Refugee Family Services, merged. Capitalizing on their collective expertise in refugee resettlement, New American Pathways is changing its community for the better.
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS), a CLINIC affiliate located in Sacramento, California, focuses its wide array of services through a lens of immigrant integration. Clients coming to SFBFS are screened for eligibility for any of the available services including immigrant legal services. SFBFS views it as their responsibility to serve the whole client, thus leading them, after almost 30 years of serving as the community’s food bank, to establish an immigrant legal services program to further assist their community.