February 27, 2017 - Our February “Buzz” highlights one of Legal Aid’s longest established programs, our Immigrant Advocacy Project. Although funding for this essential Project has fluctuated throughout the years our commitment to the immigrant community in our county has never wavered. The one constant in the Project has been the dedication of Shane O’Meara, the Project’s Supervising Attorney. Shane has been at the helm of the Project for the past 18 years and is renowned throughout Palm Beach County and the state of Florida for his expertise in immigration law and his commitment and compassion in advocating for immigrant rights. You can learn more about Shane later in this issue.
Due to the current political climate many in our immigrant community are fearful of accessing services which are essential to their own and their family’s health and well-being. Fortunately, these families regard Legal Aid as a safe haven where they can discuss their fears and concerns about their family’s future. We are currently partnering with numerous pro bono attorneys and other non-profits such as El Sol in Jupiter, the Caridad Center in Boynton Beach, and the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth to provide immigrant parents with accurate and up-to-the minute information on any new rules and regulations being promulgated by the administration.
Most of the seminars and clinics are being coordinated by staff attorney Maryam Kassaee who is assigned to our Children’s Health and Immigration Project (CHIP), which is supervised by Shane O’Meara and funded by a two year grant from the Allegany Franciscan Ministries, which expires in August 2017. The goal of CHIP is to increase access to health and medical care for undocumented immigrant children at risk of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. We are actively seeking funding to maintain this important program after August 2017.
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