CUNY’s Emerging Needs Clinic helps keep migrants on right legal path
CUNY students across the boroughs are working together to ensure asylum seekers have the support they need through a new program.
CUNY School of Law student Vaughn Mayers is studying for the bar exam. He says he became a part of the Emerging Needs Clinic – which provides legal services, helps them complete asylum applications and other helpful services.
It is all made possible with the help from their professors who are licensed attorneys. It is also the newest CUNY clinic created to help migrants.
"It's part of a practical experience, and as training attorneys, it was very timely,” Mayers says. "People seeking asylum [are] just like everyone else... they all deserve care."
CUNY schools have created multiple programs designed to help migrants, including clinics staffed by the CUNY School of Law, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and volunteers recruited by CUNY Citizenship Now. It's all part of a $1.3 million partnership with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs.
"They're fleeing horrible conditions in their own country... it's really meaningful to persevere their rights in order to seek asylum later," said Carmen Huertas-Noble, founding director of the Community and Economic Development Clinic. She is also the co-founder of the Emerging Needs Clinic.
Some of the volunteers say they come from immigrant families, so helping migrants is a way to give back to the city that gave their families a chance.