CARECEN, a Long Island based organization that provides high quality legal assistance to immigrant communities, honored Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz for his leadership in creating and supporting the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University’s legal clinic program.
CARECEN – the Central American Refugee Center – is celebrating its 35th anniversary. The organization currently offers a variety of legal services, including initial and renewal requests for temporary protected status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), green card renewals, naturalization, adjustment of status, family petitions, unlawful presence waivers, special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS), among others.
President Rabinowitz was among four honorees at CARECEN’s annual awards gala on Thursday, November 29. The other honorees were Rebecca Sanin, president and CEO of Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, Gabriela Castillo, Esq., president of Nassau County C.A.S.A. (Coordinated Agency for Spanish Americans), and Margarita Grasing, executive director of Hispanic Brotherhood of Rockville Centre.
The Hofstra Law’s Clinical Program began more than 40 years ago and was a pioneer in fully integrating clinical education into a law school and by the late 1970s had one of the largest clinical programs in the nation. As a faculty member, dean of Hofstra Law, and now president of Hofstra, President Rabinowitz has provided the leadership necessary to enhance and expand this unique experiential opportunity for law student that helps the underserved in our community, ensuring quality legal services for our neighbors most in need.
All of Hofstra Law’s immigration clinics (the Asylum Clinic, the Youth Advocacy Clinic, the Immigration Clinic, and the Deportation Defense Clinic) work closely with CARECEN. The Deportation Defense Clinic is representing CARECEN on a case challenging Nassau County’s cooperation with ICE. All of our immigration clinics have provided essential services to immigrants on Long Island and beyond.
For fifteen years, the Asylum Clinic has represented immigrants fleeing persecution and death in their home countries. On these cases, which literally may be life and death, the Clinic has a 100% grant rate in front of the Asylum Office, the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, representing many of the most difficult asylum cases with clients from around the world. The Clinic’s graduates continue their stellar work after they graduate and are truly raising the bar as attorneys in terms of their advocacy on behalf of immigrants.
The Youth Advocacy Clinic has been recognized on a state and national level as being a leader on legal issues facing immigrant youth. The Clinic handles dozens of Special Immigrant Juvenile petitions for immigrant youth and has trained and organized the legal community on Long Island to provide this representation.
The Deportation Defense Clinic represents Long Islanders arrested by Immigration in various legal proceedings, including bail hearings and motions to reopen. They have also brought a law suit to prevent Nassau County from honoring ICE detainers. In addition to legal representation, they have organized CLEs and trainings for the legal community on Long Island.
Law students regularly get involved with efforts to assist the immigrant community on Long Island. After the announcement that DACA was ending, law students, through the clinics, organized DACA renewal clinics throughout Long Island. More than one hundred law students participated. Every year, students in the Immigration Clinic organize a Citizenship Day during which law students assist dozens of immigrants in their applications.