This article was contributed by Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey.
Catholic Charities Diocese of Monterey recently received a $150,000 grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. According to a recent release, the grant will be used over two years to strengthen Catholic Charities’ Legal Immigration and USA Citizenship services to residents of North Monterey County, South Santa Cruz County and San Benito County, focusing primarily on the Pajaro Valley, Hollister and rural areas in these regions.
For the past 35 years, Catholic Charities has gained the trust of immigrants from all backgrounds and nationalities. Thanks to the grant, they will expand services to people whose primary language is Mixteco or another indigenous Mexican language primarily from Oaxaca.
“This grant will bring stability to people in our rural areas, especially as we outreach to men and women already working in our local economy,” said Jeraline Singh Edwards, directing attorney.
Under the leadership of Edwards and Jorge Sifuentes, deputy director, staff provides quality immigration services at affordable costs, the release said. The immigration specialists are U.S. Department of Justice partially-accredited and provide: consultations, adjustment of legal status, work authorization renewals, family based Visas, U-Visa/VAWA, applications for U.S. citizenship, DACA renewals, and other legal remedies.
Catholic Charities’ Legal Immigration and Citizenship program began because of the need to serve people working in agriculture and experiencing fraud from people calling themselves attorneys or notaries.
“Because of the history of this type of fraud and the continued need for this important service which helps create a stable economy, our program is here to stay,” said Ana Ventura Phares, executive director.
The mission of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Monterey is to provide service to people in need, to advocate for social justice, and to call other people of good will to do the same.
For information, please visit www.CatholicCharitiesDoM.org