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Immigration law center flooded with requests for help

The Wisconsin Gazette

The Community Immigration Law Center of Madison reports it has never been busier in responding to immigrants trying to understand the ever-changing immigration legal landscape in the U.S.

“Fear is at an all-time high as everyone from legal scholars to working families try to decipher announced or implied changes in immigration law,” said Grant Sovern, an immigration attorney who volunteers at CILC’s immigration clinic and also chairs the group’s board. “People are scared and lives hang in the balance.”

Sovern said the resources are stretched to the limit as the center attempts to meet an increasing need for consultations and future representation of immigrants, particularly in light of recent news reports that outline presidential orders expanding deportation powers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

But Sovern stressed that the center at Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 East Gorham, Madison, is responding to the community needs.

The service has helped more than 2,000 people from 130 countries.

“Increased ICE actions have made our services more important than ever,” said Sovern.

Clinic services currently include:

  •   Training and education on immigration law and immigrants’ rights
  •   Guidance on steps to resolve immigration issues
  •   Referrals to immigration experts and other community resources
  •   Training for volunteer lawyers, interpreters and intake workers.
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