July 22, 2008

For immediate release

HIAS and NYLAG Join Efforts to Better Serve Immigrants

(New York, NY – July 22, 2008) – In a move that benefits refugees and immigrants coming to the United States, the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) and HIAS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community, announced a new partnership.  Effective this month, July 2008, HIAS will shift all local immigration services to NYLAG where individuals can receive free and direct legal services. This transfer will result in expanded services to immigrants coming to New York.

Yisroel Schulman, President & Attorney-in-Charge of NYLAG, said: “This new partnership will strengthen both NYLAG and HIAS to better fulfill our missions to provide high quality legal services to New York’s immigration population.”

NYLAG is nationally known for its comprehensive legal service to immigrants. Through NYLAG’s Immigration Protection Unit, directed by attorney Irina Matiychenko, NYLAG provided legal assistance to over 10,400 immigrants in 2007 on such matters as completing citizenship applications and fees; assisting with legal permanent residency applications; and advocating for public benefits for immigrants (such as food stamps, Medicaid, SSI, and home care) to secure a basic and decent standard of living.  NYLAG’s legal services address the needs of low-income elderly, disabled and other vulnerable immigrants.

Ms. Matiychenko explained, “Essential to the success of our work, NYLAG ensures that current and reliable information on changing immigration law is widely distributed to the client population and those professionals that serve them. We are anxious to use our expertise to help those in need through this new partnership with HIAS.”

NYLAG, the third largest civil legal services program in New York City, is a not-for-profit organization that offers free, comprehensive legal services to vulnerable New Yorkers.  NYLAG is a beneficiary agency of New York-UJA Federation, with whom arrangements for the new partnership were carefully coordinated.

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The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) provides free civil legal services to New Yorkers who cannot afford private attorneys. Founded in 1990 on the premise that low-income individuals can improve their lives significantly if given access to the justice system, NYLAG has a comprehensive range of services and core practice areas. For more information, go to www.nylag.org.