Thank you for your interest in supporting pro bono life-changing legal services for vulnerable non-citizens throughout New England and beyond. We have launched this campaign to meet the immediate up-front needs of our new 501(c)(3) as we prepare to hire the staff attorney we will need to take this from a side project to the full-time legal services center that our community so desperately needs.
Golden Stairs Immigration Center provides life-changing legal services to vulnerable non-citizens.
Our clients include:
--Children seeking protection from deportation
--Asylum seekers fleeing persecution, torture, and death
--Families facing separation with one or more members in deportation proceedings
--Survivors of domestic and sexual violence
--Non-citizens detained in ICE custody facing immediate deportation
--Members of the "migrant caravan" and other Central American asylum seekers we have met from our volunteer work in Tijuana
--Non-citizens facing unusually complicated legal situations which might otherwise cost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees
East Boston has been the vital heart of Boston’s immigrant community for hundreds of years. The Golden Stairs Immigration Center honors and continues that tradition in the spirit of the “Golden Stairs” which hundreds of thousands of aspiring new Americans ascended after being processed through the East Boston Immigration Station. GSIC is committed to providing high-quality free and (depending on income) low cost legal services and representation to non-citizens who would not otherwise be able to afford access to counsel while advocating for better immigration policy, and educating and coordinating with non-immigration attorneys looking for pro bono immigration experience.
There is a critical shortage of non-profit immigration legal services in greater Boston, most especially on the side of Boston Harbor where most of our Central American community resides. Some of the non-citizens who most need immigration law services are least able to pay for access to justice, and we are ready to meet their needs as soon as possible.
OUR ESTABLISHED PRO BONO MODEL
Since August 2017, our law office has been using Patreon to fund the costs (at no personal profit to us) of especially vulnerable cases which we would not otherwise be able to afford to take on. We were also able to partially fund two visits to Tijuana to volunteer with Al Otro Lado in providing legal advice to members of the "migrant caravan."
These successful cases have already included (among others):
--An asylum seeker detained in ICE custody facing certain torture and death in his home country
--A domestic violence survivor living in a women's shelter eligible for a special visa under the Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA")
--A father from Central America facing permanent separation from his family and loss of the business which he worked to build with his U.S. citizen spouse
HOW THESE FUNDS WILL BE USED
We have finally been able to realize this long-time dream after securing low-overhead office space just above our law office. Most of our furniture and equipment are being provided by donors, but we still have a number of up-front costs which must be met before we can open our doors.
100% of the funds raised through this campaign will be applied directly to our up-front costs, including:
--Our initial rent payment and security deposit
--Setting up our phones and utilities
--Leasing a copier
--Purchasing lightly-used office furniture
--Funding a grantwriter
--Legal fees already incurred in establishing our 501(c)(3)
--Setting up our website and fundraising platform
--Setting up our Board of Directors and beginning the search for a staff attorney to join us in taking on these vital cases
--Hiring an administrative assistant
--Establishing reserves toward the salary of the staff attorney we plan to hire by the end of 2019.
We will not be compensating ourselves from this initial round of funding, and will not even consider doing so until our Board has been appointed and our initial round of funding has been secured.
GSIC's founders are two partners at Cameron Micheroni & Silvia, an immigration law firm which has been serving the local immigrant community in East Boston and throughout New England since 2009.
President & Director
Nicole Micheroni is a graduate of Wellesley College and Temple School of Law who has been practicing immigration law since 2013. As a partner in Cameron Micheroni & Silvia, she specializes in deportation defense, asylum law, family reunification, and artist visas.
Co-Director & Public Policy Advisor
Matt Cameron is a nationally-recognized expert in immigration law and policy who has been practicing immigration law (primarily deportation defense, asylum law, and "crimmigration") since 2006. He is the managing partner of Cameron Micheroni & Silvia, an adjunct lecturer at Northeastern University, and a regular contributor to The Baffler and The New Republic.
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