Immigration

Westminster Presbyterian Church and FOCUS Churches Immigration Legal Services Clinic

Lighting the Way for Our Neighbors…

In an effort to serve the area’s immigrant residents, Westminster Presbyterian Church and FOCUS Churches of Albany (the “Co-Sponsors”) are launching an Immigration Legal Services Clinic (the “LIGHT Clinic”) for our community. The torch on the Statute of Liberty shines for all and this clinic shines a light to assist new immigrants left in the dark.

L for Legal Assistance, I for Immigration, G for using our Gifts, H for hope, and
T for Together, we can help our neighbors.

A practicing attorney will oversee the LIGHT Clinic. The Co-Sponsors hope to involve area legal practitioners and law students who are interested in rendering pro bono legal services to immigrants of all statuses. The type of legal services provided will cover the spectrum from advice, to informal advocacy, to representation in adversarial proceedings. The Co-Sponsors rolled out the LIGHT Clinic in January 2022, and the LIGHT Clinic’s will assist with a range of legal problems that new immigrant communities regularly face.

At this stage, it is envisaged that the LIGHT Clinic will cover the following areas of law:

  • Immigration/asylum law
  • Claims for public benefits – e.g. social security, SNAP
  • Eviction and foreclosure prevention
  • Public housing
  • Credit debt

The LIGHT Clinic will conduct its next clinic in partnership with USCRI for Afghan refugees:

Where:

85 Chestnut St, Albany, NY 12210

When: 

For upcoming dates, please contact the Westminster church office at: office@wpcalbany.org or 518-436-8544

During these clinics, individuals are screened for their eligibility for additional legal services. In addition, the following organizations are co-sponsors, helping to further the goals of the LIGHT Clinic:

  • Albany Law School
  • Refugee & Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, Inc. (RISSE)
  • Legal Project

For more information, please contact the Westminster church office at: office@wpcalbany.org or 518-436-8544

Good Neighbor Team

When the U.S. ended its twenty-year war in Afghanistan in August 2021, we learned that at least 100 evacuees would be resettled in Albany. By February 2022, over 400 evacuees had arrived in our city. A group of Westminster members and friends heard God’s call to respond with immediate aid and long-term friendship. We formed a Good Neighbor Team in partnership with our local resettlement agency, USCRI (https://refugees.org/uscri-albany/) and were matched with a wonderful family. If you’re interested in hearing more about our work or would like to join our team, email pastor@wpcalbany.org.