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Jonah Meyers and Leya Speasmaker


Hogar Immigrant Services, a program of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, was founded in 1981. Since its inception, the program has offered English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. Hogar began offering citizenship test preparation classes in the mid 1990s. Hogar responds to the Catholic Church’s call for social justice by welcoming immigrants regardless of their ethnicity, religion, nationality, or ability to pay.

Jonah Meyers and Leya Speasmaker


Intercambio was founded in 2000 by Lee Shainis and Shawn Camden and quickly grew from English classes in Shainis’s basement into a highly respected non-profit organization operating in several towns in Boulder County, Colorado. Intercambio’s mission is to make the ethnically diverse communities in Boulder County more safe, friendly and economically prosperous through their broad-ranging immigrant integration program.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2014, Welcoming the Stranger Edition of Catholic Woman Magazine, by the National Council of Catholic Women:

By Minyoung Ohm

RIS Attorney


Rita Dhakal joined the Religious Immigration Section of CLINIC in June 2009.  She currently works with Attorney Megan Turngren to help to provide legal services to RIS clients.  In addition, Rita volunteers with Legal Services of Northern Virginia, where she interviews clients for case intake and placement for the Uncontested Divorce Clinic.