Legal Aid is proud to announce that we are expanding our programming to improve access to critically-needed legal services for D.C.’s immigrant community. The new program will be seeded by a $150,000 grant from the Venable Foundation, one of five grants the Foundation will provide to legal aid organizations nationwide.
“Our immigrant neighbors in the District face a wide range of legal challenges, yet often have trouble accessing the legal system either because of language issues or because of the fear of deportation,” said Eric Angel, Executive Director. “Legal Aid is committed to actively standing up for the rights of all residents of D.C., no matter where they were born. This expanded programming will help us achieve that goal.”
Through this new program, Legal Aid will expand our in-house practice to provide a continuum of services for clients. Legal Aid’s immigrant services will include assistance with T-visas, U-visas, and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) petitions, as well as issues impacting immigrants like access to public benefits and housing, representation in domestic violence and family law matters, and the drafting of powers of attorney to ensure they can secure proper custodial arrangements.
“Our partners are very proud to support this valuable work,” said Stuart P. Ingis, chairman of Venable LLP, whose partners contribute to the Venable Foundation.
Funding from the Venable Foundation will enable Legal Aid to assist more clients like Ada Jackson (identifying information has been changed), who faced a range of legal issues, including domestic violence. Ms. Jackson’s alleged abuser tried to intimidate her by threatening to use her immigration status against her. Legal Aid helped Ms. Jackson secure protection from her abuser, obtain temporary custody of her son, sign up for health insurance and food stamps, and fight eviction.
As Stephanie Troyer, our Family Law Supervising Attorney, put it, “Ms. Jackson displayed extraordinary courage with each step she took towards securing her independence from her abuser and seeking justice.”