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The Impact of CJP’s Legal Aid Fund for Immigrants


In 2018, CJP’s deeply held, 100-year commitment to caring for the vulnerable compelled us to establish the CJP Legal Aid Fund for Immigrants (CLAFI) in partnership with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston — a dedicated and impactful faith-based organization working to build a more just and compassionate society. Together, we greatly expanded direct, urgently needed legal assistance for immigrants. 

During this time, more than 12,300 people in Greater Boston were at risk of losing their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and approximately 8,000 “dreamers” faced new challenges when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was ended (on December 4, 2020 a New York Federal court ordered the Department of Homeland Security  to restore DACA to its original form).

Through CLAFI, CJP and the Jewish community empowered our partners to provide life-changing services to immigrants in dire need of legal consultations. They also provided referrals and representation for an array of immigration benefits including family petitions, adjustment of status, naturalization, special immigrant juvenile petitions, visas for victims of crime or human trafficking, and protection for domestic violence survivors through the Violence Against Women Act.

Thanks to the incredible support of more than 380 donors who contributed more than $800,000 to CLAFI, Catholic Charities was able to :

  • Double the number of legal consultations and shorten wait times for immigrants in urgent need of legal assistance
  • Increase the number of clients who could be accepted for full representation by an immigration attorney after the initial consultation
  • Expand Know Your Rights (KYR) workshops, increasing access to legal information among immigrants, public and private social service agencies, employers, and other groups who are in direct contact with immigrants

 

"This work gives me a great sense of achievement. For me, it is very rewarding, and a real privilege. I’m Jewish, so it’s really about tikkun olam—I’m doing something to make the world a little better, and repairing it one person at a time."
—Amy Bloomstone, Immigration Attorney at Catholic Charities


The Jewish community understands all too well what it is like to be a stranger in a strange land, fleeing danger and oppression. We’re so proud of how quickly and generously our community acted on their Jewish values, changing lives and easing the suffering of the thousands of immigrants who were experiencing anxiety, pain, and great uncertainty.