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San Diego Nonprofit Provides Free Immigration Legal Services At SDSU, CSU San Marcos

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Jewish Family Service launches free legal services program for students and faculty members with immigration concerns.

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Speaker 1: 00:00 There's a new effort to help San Diego college students and faculty members who have immigration concerns. Jewish family service of San Diego was providing no cost legal services for San Diego State University and CSU San Marcos KPBS evening edition Anchor Ebony Monet spoke with Hiero Castro. Anita, the attorney leading the program. She started by asking him about the service. JFS is providing

Speaker 2: 00:27 these services range from initial consultation to figuring out where it is that I might fall in the immigration spectrum to DACA renewals to individuals who might be going through a family petition process, ultimately up to naturalization. Why now? Why not? This is a great opportunity. This is a great time. Um, it's a challenging time in the u s home, but JFS has always stepped into opportunities like this. And again, going back to our mission and wanting to help and a holistic approach. And so this is a great opportunity, a great time to step into a place where we see a need and to be able to connect with another aspect of our larger San Diego community.

Speaker 1: 01:13 And why is Jewish family service of San Diego uniquely positioned to provide these services? Because at first thought you might think that it would be a big law firm providing these no-cost services. But um, y JFS,

Speaker 2: 01:28 JFS does so many things and we have so many different programs that I mentioned, just a few of them a little bit ago. Eh, there's even more that I don't know, but this is why this is such a great partnership because we're not a big law firm because we understand that there are so many different aspects and components to the wellness of an individual. An additional immigration services component is, is key and it's a great partnership and it's a great mesh to move forward with our goals as an organization within the community and connect with students.

Speaker 1: 02:01 And do you imagine, um, we're just coming off of summer break. Do you imagine you'll be busy?

Speaker 2: 02:07 We do. We do. And so we're preparing for that. We've been preparing for that. We've had conversations with key stakeholders at the different campuses within our office internally, Eh, and so that process has been ongoing. It's something that we're constantly working towards. And as classes begin, we've already had consultations, we've already had students schedule appointments, staff schedule appointments. And so we're excited to see this flourish into an even bigger, uh, program.

Speaker 1: 02:35 Some students are just finding out their immigration status based upon applying for college. Could you talk about that connection and how that happens?

Speaker 2: 02:43 Some of these students for the first time are learning of their immigration status and it's something that maybe wasn't talked with, um, with parents and so their world stops and they don't know necessarily what next steps to take. And again, this is why this partnership with the CSU system and JFS is so crucial because those individuals need that assistance and need that support and need that guidance.

Speaker 1: 03:08 Is that a difficult time for immigration law here in this country with so many changes to policies and rules and

Speaker 2: 03:17 new guidelines? Immigration law is conservative, one of the most challenging areas of lots of practice, especially now because things are constantly changing. And so we have to be up to date, um, on a daily basis. If not, um, anything sooner because policies are, are being implemented and overnight something might change. So being aware of that is important. And then providing that information back to the community that we serve is a huge component of it. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Speaker 1: 03:48 That was hydro cas, an attorney with Jewish family service of San Diego. He was speaking to evening edition Anchor Ebony Monet.

Speaker 3: 04:00 Uh.

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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.