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Immigration & Legal Services

Three smiling people standing in front of a yellow wall and a sign that says "LIFE Center"
Evelyn Rios and Sr. Joanne Safian, RSHM, with one of our new citizens.

Several of our sisters are qualified attorneys who serve the poor and immigrant populations in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, New York and in Immokalee, Florida. Sister Bernadette Kenny provides legal services to other religious congregations. RSHM attorneys make their expertise available to populations who would otherwise have little or no access to legal services. 

The RSHM LIFE Center began the Immigration Legal Services Program in 2013 in response to changing demographics and developments in immigration law and policy. The program strives to keep families together through direct representation and community education and outreach. We work to ensure that both citizens and non-citizens are aware of their rights and responsibilities as community members. The program, overseen by attorney Sister Kelly Carpenter, provides affordable, direct legal services to individuals who are seeking to regularize their legal status and to those seeking representation in removal proceedings.

A man in blue shirt, woman in glasses with striped sweater over white shirt, younger woman in glasses and fatigues, with young girl in denim jacket in front of her, woman in glasses with black and white blouse over white shirt, woman with glass in white tank top. Backdrop is greenery.
Sisters with an immigrant family in Florida. L to R: Eduardo, Maria, Clara, Diana, Sisters Ines and Maureen

In Immokalee, Florida, attorney Sister Maureen Kelleher does volunteer work for Legal Aid Services.  

While legal services are not provided at Centro Corazón de María, in Hampton Bays, New York, education, social services, emergency assistance, and support are provided to newly-arrived immigrant individuals and families. Additionally, Centro Corazón de María advocates for just immigration policies locally, state-wide, and nationally.