Immigration Legal Services
Immigration Legal Services Director: Deborah Hupfer
Immigration Legal Services assists refugees, immigrants, victims of human trafficking and torture to rebuild their lives by providing legal services, case management and translation services to access services, gain employment, and become productive members of our community. We help keep families together who are threatened with separation so they can create & rebuild for themselves a future of hope and responsibility. Through our outreach we help legal immigrants escape domestic violence, labor exploitation and in some instances forced prostitution. Click here to go to Louisiana Esperanza Project.
Servicios Legales de Inmigración - Servicios de Inmigración Legal ayuda a los refugiados, inmigrantes, víctimas de la trata de personas y la tortura para reconstruir sus vidas por la prestación de servicios legales, manejo de casos y servicios de traducción a los servicios de acceso, el empleo de ganancia, y convertirse en miembros productivos de nuestra comunidad. Nos ayudan a mantener unidas a las familias que están amenazadas con la separación para que puedan crear y reconstruir por sí mismos un futuro de esperanza y responsabilidad. A través de nuestro alcance que ayudar a los inmigrantes legales escapar de la violencia doméstica, la explotación laboral y, en algunos casos, la prostitución forzada.
Refugee Resettlement Director: Jean Dresley
Louisiana State Refugee Coordinator: Ann Sperry
Refugee Resettlement--Resettles refugee families fleeing violence in their homeland. Services provided includes language training, social and medical services, counseling, job placement, family reunification, and citizenship preparation for immigrants and refugees.
How you can help Migration & Refugee Services--Click here to read a newspaper article about how a few volunteers from St. Aloysius are helping a family from the Congo.
- Mentor a Refugee Family (or Individual)—Spend an hour or two a week befriending a family, orienting them to American culture and life in the community, and learning from each other.
- Employment Coach—Volunteers can act as a resource for clients during their job search. by assisting with job applications, creating a resume, rehearsing for job interviews, coaching on appropriate workplace skills and behaviors, or making contact with employers in the community.
- Provide rides to medical/dental appointments—Refugees are responsible for getting to most appointments on their own, but sometimes the bus or bike is not feasible if the person has to be sedated or has to leave school or work in the middle of the day.
- Volunteer Interpreter—Most refugees arrive with limited English. If you are fluent in another language, your skills are greatly appreciated by refugees. Current languages needed are Tigrinya, Amharic, Chin, Karen, Karenni, Burmese, Rohingya, Arabic, and Nepali.
- Apartment Set-Up—Help transport furniture and/or set up the apartment for newly arriving refugees. Click here to download instructions for "House in a Box."
- Orientation Support Team—Assist with Migration & Refugee Services’ refugee orientation program by presenting on a topic of interest or expertise, transporting clients, escorting on field trips or assisting with paperwork.
- Office Support—Keeping track of donations and in-kind, preparing files, and organizing donation storage spaces are just a few of the unlimited possibilities.
- Collect Donations—We provide a core set of apartment furnishings and supplies to each refugee arriving in Baton Rouge. Donations need to be requested, collected, and organized. Click here to download instructions for assembling a "House in a Box."
YOUTH VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
- High School Conversation Partners—Refugee youth arrive with many different backgrounds and life experiences, but kids are kids! Louisiana high school students can become conversation partners and peer mentors for their refugee classmates. You can help them practice English and learn to navigate life as a teenager in America. You’ll learn as much from them as they learn from you!
- Organize a Donation Drive—Get together with a group to organize a donation drive! When refugees come to America, many of them have very few or no possessions. Help us collect everything needed to set up an apartment (we have a list of core requirements), get started in school (backpacks, school supplies, clothes, shoes), and begin a new life in a new country. Click here to download instructions for "House in a Box."
- Sports Team Outreach—If you’re involved in a sport, ask your coach and teammates to reach out to the refugee community and help them become a part of the team. Volunteering in this capacity might require advocating for some type of “scholarships” or fee waivers, helping to arrange transportation, uniforms and equipment, and acting as a “buddy”.
- Organize a Multicultural Event—Your student club/organization, class, or school can take the lead and organize a special event for refugee children and families. Some event ideas that you might consider arranging are a multicultural family potluck picnic at a park, a special soccer tournament for all ages, a movie night , or a holiday celebration for 4th of July, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc.
To get started, click here to download a volunteer application.
Published in The Advocate, 3/22/2015
By Andrea Gallo, The Advocate reporter
Twelve minutes before she was to be reunited with her son, Catherine Clarke broke down.
More than 10 years of missing her baby boy — who she left at a refugee camp in western sub-Saharan Africa when he was a teenager and she came to the United States — came tumbling out of her. The 59-year-old mother screamed, hissed, sobbed and laughed as she squirmed in a plastic gray chair at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.
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The refugee process is complicated and confusing, even for people entrenched in this work. That, coupled with rumor, may cause people to question this work. We have complied a list of answers to questions below that you might have.
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