By Edwin Martinez
The federal administration continues to make constant threats and warnings about its plans to increase the raids against undocumented people, and although New York promises that the fight for immigrants will continue, and asks not to be carried away by fear, there is no need for families with members without papers are informed and prepared to face eventualities.
With this premise, and the firm intention of educating the immigrant community more about their rights and the actions they can take in advance, this Monday El Diario is promoting a completely free helpline to explain how parents can Designate a trusted adult to take care of your children, in case something should happen.
Under the name “Know Your Rights: What immigrant families can do to protect their children”, El Diario, in partnership with the Office of Immigrant Affairs of the Mayor, Catholic Charities, NYLAG, the Office of New Americans of the State The Legal Aid Society and Univision are inviting New Yorkers to call this Monday between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at 1- (800) 566-7636 for advice.
Staff trained in legal issues, will answer questions and concerns about the so-called legal powers with which immigrant parents concerned about their future can process to grant temporary guardianship to people they trust, to avoid complications and more painful situations, generated by eventual arrests. of ‘la Migra‘ or other situations with federal authorities.
And reaffirming in commitment that the De Blasio Administration has with undocumented New Yorkers, the city’s Commissioner of Immigration Affairs, Bitta Mostofi called for those who wish to learn about these powers to contact the toll free line and understand that programming before potential difficulties is necessary and gives more peace of mind.
“You have to make a plan if you think you may be at risk of being arrested or detained or being deported or of some type of measure by the immigration authorities, or if you are not sure and wants to make sure that you have everything planned to take care of to your family, in the event that you are separated from your children, ”said the official. “You have to know that you have options to protect them, such as choosing or appointing a temporary guardian who is someone who would have the ability to make important decisions about your children if something happens, but without meaning that you lose your rights as a parent. Above all, it must be someone you trust fully. ”
The Immigration Commissioner added that during the support line, there will be fully trained personnel who will instruct callers to develop the aforementioned legal powers.
“We will be working with legal service providers directly, with attorneys ready to answer specific questions about people’s concerns about how to implement these powers, and how to connect with services that ensure the protection of their families,” Mostofi said. “First of all we want to remind New Yorkers that the City is with them, very committed to doing everything they can to make sure that people know what their rights are, that they know what they can do to better protect themselves and themselves. their families, and connect with the services they need.”
The representatives of the local government highlighted that this type of aid, such as the service line promoted by El Diario and Univisión, are yet another example of the fact that while the Trump Administration continues to be determined to attack the immigrant community, both New York City and the Governor and the State will not back down in defending the undocumented population and fighting against the separation of families.
“It is wonderful to be in New York at this time when we see so many attacks from the federal government and to know that there are many people beyond the City and the State, including legal service providers and community organizations, working hand in hand to make sure that people have accurate information to be able to act immediately, we are very pleased,” added the Commissioner, while urging those who need immediate legal help, to call line 311 or connect with any of the provider organizations of services to receive care.
From August 2017 through August 1, the City has received 28,300 immigration-related help calls, through line 311 and through the ActionNY line they have received 45,700 direct calls.
Likewise, the lawyer Daniela Camacho, from the Legal Health Unit of the NYLAG organization (New York Legal Assistance Group), warned that it is very important that the immigrant population does not allow themselves to be invaded by fear, but at the same time they must plan matters that may be difficult, but for which one must be prepared, given the uncertainty promoted by the federal government.
“Our goal is not to cause any kind of fear or alarm because we know that our community is already under enough anguish, but what we want is to show our people that there are legal tools that they can use easily so that they are prepared for possible situations. tough, ”said the lawyer, who urged New Yorkers to use the helpline on Monday.
The expert explained that currently parents who fear being separated from their children, have at their disposal two types of documents that they can process to grant temporary guardianship of their little one to trusted adults, who can take care of the children, before possible arrests or detentions.
The first tool is a document, which must be notarized, with the presence of two witnesses, where the father designates an adult as the person responsible for their children, in the event that something happens, and it is valid for 1 year from when it is authenticated or take effect. With this document, guardians can make basic decisions about school and medical matters for minors, but it does not apply to other more important actions such as travel.
The other is a document that requires the temporary guardian assigned by a parent to go before a judge within 60 days from when the extension of the provisional guardianship over a minor comes into effect and with that person can make decisions. of greater amplitude on children. This type of power was recently achieved, thanks to the signing of a state law last year.
“What we are recommending to people is that they process both and that they do it better in English because they are documents that can be used before various City agencies and they must explain why a person is being chosen in the best interest of the children, ”said Camacho.
The lawyer warned that the most important thing is that when appointing a guardian you think of a person of absolute confidence, who when using the powers of attorney does what the father wants, and reiterated that processing them in a planned way avoids any type of uncertainty and additional distress.
“The recommendation one is that you choose a person who you totally trust. Ideally, you have documents to guarantee that you can go to court without fear, but even so, if the trusted person whom you want to appoint as guardian does not have papers, it is preferable to appoint them than to appoint no one, “said the lawyer. At the same time that he stated that although the attacks of the federal government have caused anguish in the community, there is also a greater desire to find out.
“That is why I ask you to call the line to learn about these tools, because we have seen that there is more search for answers from people who are concerned and we see that they have understood the importance of planning,” he added.
The lawyer also commented that if someone fails to call Monday to find out how to elaborate the powers over minors, they can attend any of the community organizations that are in the city, or even ask for information in the legal health units, free of charge at 36 New York hospitals.
“If people receive medical services, I tell them to ask their doctors or social workers if they can help them make appointments with lawyers. All appointments are confidential, ”said the young woman. “I understand that right now there are many news that cause fear, and I am not telling anyone not to be afraid because I am not in that situation, but I urge people not to let that fear handle them, to prepare themselves, to consult lawyers and call our lune s line.”
Data of the aid day
Name: “Know your rights: what immigrant families can do to protect their children”
Number to call: 1- (800) 566-7636
Date: Monday, August 5, 2019
Time: from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Initiative promoted by: El Diario, the Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs, Catholic Charities, NYLAG, the State’s Office of New Americans, Legal Aid Society and Univisión
Originally published in El Diario on August 5, 2019.