Center on Immigration has a new partnership

By Iris RedondoPonce
December 8, 2023

Dr. Nune Grigoryan advocating for the closing of Berks immigrant prison. Photo via Cabrini Flickr.
Dr. Nune Grigoryan advocating for the closing of Berks immigrant prison. Photo via Cabrini Flickr.

Cabrini’s Center on Immigration has a new partnership with the Free Migration Project.

The Center on Immigration is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization, whose mission is to advocate for a more just immigration system. The Free Migration Project (FMP) is a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia that has been partnering with the Center for multiple years. Both organizations worked together to form part of the Shut Down Berks Coalition.

Dr. Nune Grigoryan, the Interim Director of the Center on Immigration said, “It serves the students in any need they might have, including legal representation.”

Why the Free Migration Project?

A group of Cabrini students outside of Berks immigrant prison advocating for its closing along with the Immigration Center. Photo via Cabrini’s Flickr.

“We know what a trusted partner they are, and because they are specialized in providing immigration legal services to underserved immigrant populations,” Grigoryan said.

The Center thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to partner “to bring their qualifications and services closer to our students and make it accessible,” added Grigoryan.

Who will benefit?

The partnership between the Center on Immigration and the FMP will bring the Cabrini community an opportunity to explore pathways to citizenship or visa status changes.

“I hope that students and staff will find consultations beneficial, and in some cases, they will lead to status updates or changes, or whatever they are hoping to get out of these services.” Grigoryan said. She also added that the services provided by FMP will benefit the Cabrini community because the services are available to people on campus who otherwise would not have access to them. The services are free as they are paid for by the Center on Immigration.

Nicolas Rey Lopez, a senior majoring in chemistry, said partnering with the Free Migration Project is “a good way to give people that come from other countries a place where they can feel safe. They can know that there’s people that are going to try to understand them, trying to work with them, to give them the best opportunities that they can get.”

The services provided also extend to the immediate families of the Cabrini community. “We understand that sometimes a student’s status is related to the status of a family member, so because of that we want to make sure that there are services available for the family as well,” Grigoryan said.

Grigoryan added, “In some cases the consultation will lead to taking a case on, and in some cases it might not.” FMP taking on a case will depend on the scale of the case, how many resources are needed, and the time it takes.

Help with DACA application renewals are a service provided by FMP. Cases that could run their course past the closure of Cabrini would not be taken on, however, students may to take their case directly to Free Migration Project. This would be an out-of-pocket cost for the student.

“We are just hoping that students will make this connection,” Grigoryan said.

How to reach out

Cabrini community members can schedule an hourlong consultation with the Free Migration Project using this link. Consultations will be led by David Bennion, the executive director of the Free Migration project. Due to client-attorney confidentiality, no one from Cabrini can see who signs up.

Grigoryan encouraged anyone who might need help to reach out, “The bottom line is it can be a life-changing conversation for someone.”

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Iris RedondoPonce

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