Employees of York County's child welfare office speak out, plan rally

CASA holds immigration services fair

Christopher Dornblaser
  • CASA held a services fair Saturday at Lincoln Charter School
  • People could get legal consultation for a $35 membership fee

York-area immigrants on Saturday were given a chance to receive legal counseling at a significantly reduced price.

CASA, a nonprofit immigration rights organization, held a services fair at Lincoln Charter School in York City. For a $35 yearly membership fee, those navigating the immigration process could come to the school and receive legal consultation in areas such as applying for citizenship, general immigration and even workplace rights.

CASA's York branch opened in March, and it has been operating out of City Hall since that time.

"It's a day to introduce CASA to York," Liz Alex, regional director for CASA, said.

Yoscaisa Ramirez, a law student, assists a man with the citizen application at the CASA services fair, Saturday, June 4, at Lincoln Charter School in York. Christopher Dornblaser photo

Assistance: Reyna Mariche, who has a  daughter in second grade at Lincoln Charter School, appreciated the event. She said she was there for immigration counsel.

"You go into an appointment with an attorney, they charge $200," she said. She said CASA provides hope for immigrants.

Miguel Gomez, of York City, came to CASA roughly three months ago seeking help to get his citizenship. Gomez, from the Dominican Republic, has been in York since 1995. He said everything has gone smoothly with the citizenship process and he is awaiting his final interview.

Hispanic services organization moves into York City Hall

Gomez was there Saturday helping out and bringing some of his friends along so they, too, could take advantage of CASA services. He said he's proud to be a part of such a helpful organization.

Some were there Saturday to get assistance with Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), an executive action by President Barack Obama that would allow undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S. for three years without threat of deportation. The U.S. Supreme Court will determine the constitutionality of the program, and the decision could come sometime this summer.

Staff from CASA were there Saturday, helping and providing the necessary paperwork should DAPA pass.

Fernando Goravito, workplace manager for CASA, informs a woman about workplace safety rights during the CASA services fair on Saturday, June 4, at Lincoln Charter School in York. Christopher Dornblaser photo

Change: Annie Clark, director of community outreach for Lincoln Charter School, said the Latino student population has increased from 44 percent to 54 percent in the school's 16 years of operation.

She said over the past few years the school has expanded its outreach to the Latino community, even creating a Latino parent council for parents to talk about school issues in their own language.

Latino services fair planned for Saturday

Clarke added that the event Saturday was an extension of its outreach over the past few years.

"We really have to understand we are one community," she said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser atcdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at@YDDornblaser.