We help clients in a variety of immigration-related cases, including naturalization, family reunification, waivers, domestic violence, asylum, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and religious worker petitions.
Our managing attorney, TJ Mills, has over 20 years of experience in the field of immigration law. Before coming to NYAC-JFON, TJ worked for 7 years as an Asylum Officer for the Department of Justice in Los Angeles and New York. Since 1999, TJ has represented our clients before the courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), consular offices, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). He has Federal Circuit, District Court, and agency appellate experience, including representation of an asylum seeker in precedent-setting 9th Circuit decision and representation of a US citizen in a precedent-setting BIA ruling.
TJ has been recognized as an outstanding attorney by our partners at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC). All sites in the National JFON network, including New York, are official affiliates of CLINIC.
NYAC-JFON has a relationship with Brooklyn Law School through the Immigrant Visa Assistance Project (IVAP). Started by a Brooklyn law student who worked for NYAC-JFON under the auspices of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) Young Leaders program, IVAP gives law students the opportunity to assist our attorneys by preparing U-Visa affidavits on behalf of our clients.
We also have volunteer attorneys who work at NYAC-JFON under his supervision.
Summary of Legal Services
Advice and Counsel: Our NYAC-JFON attorneys explain to clients how the complicated immigration laws of the United States affect them. If a client is eligible for relief, our attorney will so advise. However, if a client learns that s/he is not eligible to legalize, s/he is less likely to fall victim to immigration fraud (eg., When an unscrupulous attorney or notario promises to get an immigrant a visa in exchange for a large fee.).
Asylum: Men, women and children flee their country of origin for many reasons, including being persecuted because of their race, religion, political opinion, or gender. NYAC-JFON attorneys represent such asylum-seekers to ensure that they will not be forced to return to a country where they will surely face persecution, torture or death.
U Visa: The U Visa was created by Congress to encourage undocumented victims of serious crimes (like domestic violence, rape and incest) to come forward to report crimes without the fear of deportation. Among other tasks, NYAC-JFON attorneys walk with these vulnerable victims through the process of securing a “law enforcement certification” to prove that the victim was helpful to the police.
Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”): Under VAWA, an abused spouse, parent or child of a US citizen or green card holder may apply for a Green Card without the abuser’s knowledge, which allows the victim to seek both safety and lawful status, independently from the abuser.
Refugee Adjustment of Status (also called Refugee Green Card): NYAC-JFON attorneys assist refugees to apply for their green cards, one year after they come to the US. Clinic volunteers enjoy hosting mass Refugee Green Card clinics to serve a large number of our refugee neighbors efficiently and effectively. Refugees are granted refugee status abroad after proving that they fear persecution on the same grounds as asylees.
Naturalization/Citizenship: Naturalizing is the process by which a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) applies for US citizenship. It is an expensive and rigorous process through which NYAC-JFON attorneys expertly guide clients by providing study guides for the English and US civics tests and interview preparation.
Cancellation of Removal/Deportation Defense: These time-consuming and work-intensive court cases involve defending immigrants from deportation. One such defense is called Cancellation of Removal, which requires that the immigrant prove he has been living in the US for at least 10 years, has good moral character, and whose US citizen spouse, parent or child would suffer “extreme hardship” if he was deported.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”): Immigrants who entered the US as children and have graduated from a US high school, among other requirements, may apply for a two-year work permit. It is called Deferred Action, because if the case is approved, the government has decided to defer or postpone the immigrant’s deportation. Approved DACAs are eligible to apply for social security numbers and in some states, driver licenses.
Family Petition: This is a two-step process. First, the family member with legal status files a Family Petition for his or her immigrant family member. Only spouses, parents, or adult children can apply for certain family members. Once the Family Petition is approved, the immigrant may apply for an Immigrant Visa or Green Card.
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJ”): This is a form of relief for unaccompanied immigrant children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by one or both of their parents. This multi-step case requires up to four distinct matters: 1) the family court case, where the child must prove that she has been abused, neglected or abandoned, 2) filing the SIJ petition with the Immigration Service, 3) filing the Immigrant Visa or Green Card once the SIJ has been approved, and 4) removal defense in Immigration Court.
To schedule an appointment with an immigration attorney, please call one of our clinic coordinators.
Chinese United Methodist Church
69 Madison Street
New York, NY 10002
Clinic Coordinator: Sue Lee
John Wesley United Methodist Church
260 Quincy Street
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Clinic Coordinator: Diane Larrier
La Promesa Mission
150-20 Barclay Avenue
Flushing, NY 11355
Clinic Coordinator: Yesenya Bernabe
Hicksville United Methodist Church
130 W Old Country Road
Hicksville, NY 11801
Clinic Coordinator: Ellen Giuffrida