Leticia Medina-Richman: Local organization provides free legal services to immigrants, refugees

Published: 1/19/2020 3:01:08 PM
Modified: 1/19/2020 3:00:09 PM

I was pleased to read Razvan Sibbii’s Jan. 6 column (“The resistance, as organized by immigration lawyers”) calling attention to issues that immigrants are facing at the border, and highlighting what attorneys like Megan Kludt are doing to address this crisis.

I commend Kludt for her volunteer work and for her advocacy for immigrants and refugees. While the crisis at the border is understandably the focus of much press, I want to remind our community that the Central West Justice Center (CWJC), an affiliate of Community Legal Aid, Hampshire County’s legal aid organization, also provides critical free legal services to immigrants and refugees who are unable to afford a lawyer and would struggle to navigate the complex American legal system on their own.

Our organization, which has offices in Northampton, Springfield, Worcester and Pittsfield, provides free legal services for humanitarian-based immigration cases. CWJC’s immigrant clients are children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected, and women who are survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking or other crimes.

Others are fleeing danger in their home country, and seeking asylum and a better life. CWJC also assists immigrants who come to Massachusetts to work as migrant and seasonal farm workers in the approximately 7,000 farms in our state.

CWJC provides opportunities for immigrants to get advice and representation on their matters through community consultation days, and bimonthly clinics done in partnership with Justice For Our Neighbors. We are very proud of the work we do to assist our immigrant neighbors in western Massachusetts, and want to ensure that your readers are aware that these essential resources are available within our community.

Leticia Medina-Richman

The writer is a managing attorney at Central West Justice Center, an affiliate of Community Legal Aid.


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