Monjas de Long Island dirigen una clínica de inmigración para ayudar a los inmigrantes que buscan empleo

May 8, 2024

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BRENTWOOD, NY — Sister Eileen McCann, CSJ, is a retired immigration attorney, but these days she is working harder than she has in years. She’s using her expertise and familiarity with the complexities of the U.S. immigration system to assist migrants with asylum applications that would allow them to stay in the country and work. 

Sister Eileen serves as a volunteer legal consultant for the Long Island Immigration Clinic, a program operated by her religious community, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, that is run out of the sisters’ Long Island campus. 

“Immigrants have always been part of our ministry. Now, we’re stepping it up a little,” said Sister Eileen, who refers to the migrants as “our immigrant friends.” 

The clinic, which started up in 2022, helps approximately 1,000 people a year, according to Sister Janet Kinney, CSJ, the director, who said it is staffed by 115 volunteers, including attorneys and interpreters. Translators are needed because the vast majority of the clients are non-English speakers, she explained. 

Most of the clients come from Central America and come across the U.S.-Mexico border, But they also hail from strife-torn countries like Haiti and Pakistan. 

“They’re fleeing for their lives. It’s heartbreaking. They come here and take any job they can get. There are people who were dentists, lawyers and business owners in the old country, and now they’re scrubbing somebody’s toilet,” Sister Eileen said. 

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