Immigration & Legal Services

Immigration Legal Program (ILP):

Since 1886, Lutheran Social Services of New York has supported vulnerable individuals, families, and communities — including immigrants — as they strive to reach their full potential. Our Immigration Legal Program (ILP) has provided representation, legal advice, and community outreach to many immigrants and refugees across New York City. We represent immigrants seeking protection from persecution and violence, young people fleeing dangerous conditions, families seeking reunification, and aspiring US citizens from all over the world. Lutheran Social Services of New York will continue to advocate on behalf of all people, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion.

The ILP assists applicants seeking political asylum, family-based immigration status, citizenship, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Temporary Protected Status, relief under the Violence Against Women Act, and U visas for survivors of crime. The ILP represents immigrants in deportation or removal proceedings and unaccompanied minors in Family Court.

The ILP has also partnered with the City of New York to provide daily screenings and application assistance to asylum seekers newly arrived to New York City as part of the Asylum Seeker’s Legal Advocacy Network.

The ILP is part of ActionNYC, a network of immigration legal service providers.

In 2021, the ILP:

  • represented 60 unaccompanied minors before Family Courts, Immigration Court, and US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and worked with volunteer attorneys to help additional unaccompanied minors
  • filed Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) applications
  • supervised the legal screenings and immigration consultations of over 1,320 community members
  • represented clients in 37 asylum cases, including cases directly involving gender-based violence or unaccompanied minors
  • represented clients from over 70 different countries

Contact the Immigration Legal Program at:

75 W. 125 St., Floor 4, New York, NY 10027
Phone: 212-265-1826 | Fax: 212-265-2238

Safe Haven for Children Program:

The Safe Haven program provides follow-up case management services to minors who arrive in the country without parents or guardians and who have been released to qualified sponsors in the New York Metropolitan area, pending their immigration court proceedings.

In 2016, the Safe Haven Program:

  • provided temporary shelter and foster care to 58 unaccompanied children at any given time through a contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
  • supported the needs of unaccompanied children by providing high-quality case management services through a team of clinicians, teachers and child care workers.
  • improved unaccompanied children’s access to medical and mental health services, as well as quality educational services.

For More Information Please Contact:
Cecilia Aranzamendez, LMSW, Esq.
Executive Director for Community Services
212.870.1113 |