New York City Bar Association Hosts Legal Clinic for Haitians Seeking Temporary Protected Status

New York, January 29, 2010 – The New York City Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association-NY Chapter held a free three-hour clinic on January 28th for Haitians in New York seeking Temporary Protected Status due to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Temporary Protected Status was announced by the U.S. on January 15th, allowing Haitians to remain and work in the U.S. for up to 18 months if their applications are approved.

Over 150 attorneys, translators, and notaries volunteered for the clinic, which assisted 83 clients. The clients were counseled on several parts of the Temporary Protected Status application process: How to qualify, what documentation to provide, how to apply for fee waivers, and whether complicating factors would prevent a successful application, among other things.

“The response from the legal community was fantastic,” said Lynn Kelly, Executive Director of the City Bar Justice Center. “We received hundreds of calls from lawyers interested in helping, and had to turn away many who were eager to assist.”

Haitians who have been living in the U.S. since before January 12th, 2010, have 180 days after January 21st to apply for Temporary Protected Status. Several other clinics are being held throughout New York to provide free legal assistance for applicants and more are expected in the months ahead.