The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) has long focused on providing high-quality and free civil-legal services to New Yorkers who otherwise cannot afford an attorney. On September 6th, 2012, NYLAG took their efforts to Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens to provide free “Deferred Action” assistance to students who are eligible via their Mobile Legal Help Center. The 41-foot mobile help center serves as a fully functioning legal services office equipped with a team of lawyers ready to provide deferred action assistance to young New Yorkers.
Newtown High School was chosen as the launch for NYLAG’s “DREAMer Mobile Legal Help Days” “because of its large and ethnically diverse student body.” Located in the heart of Queens, New York (one of the most diverse centralized areas in the world), Newtown High School’s student body of about 2,200 students includes 1,600 of which are immigrants. According to the schools principal John Ficalora, “They come from 100 countries and speak 59 languages. National Geographic once wrote that our zip code, 11373, is the most diverse in the country.”
NYLAG’s hope with their “DREAMer Mobile Legal Help Days” is to get the word out to those students who are eligible. With their presence on Newton’s campus the staff at NYLAG hopes to inform students, and their parents/guardians, of their eligibility for Deferred Action, the general process, and possible eligibility for other forms of release.
While Thursday marked the first of two days for NYLAG’s kick-off on Newton High School’s Campus, they will continue to educate eligible New York youth through their hotline and Facebook page. This is the first stop for NYLAG as they are in talks with more schools in the New York area to continue their effort with the hope to help hundreds of eligible immigrants in the coming months.