Vanessa & Legal Services: Finding a Judge-Free Zone for NYC Youth
Every year thousands of young people arrive in the United States without documentation or support. Many are fleeing dangerous, life-threatening circumstances in their native countries. These undocumented young people comprise one of the most vulnerable populations in the U.S.— facing daily risk of deportation and at the same time unable to go to college, get a job, or receive benefits. Such uncertainty can make planning for the future next to impossible, a reality Vanessa faced when she reached high school. She came to the U.S. from Jamaica without proper documentation when she was just 2 years old. As she neared graduation, she knew she needed a green card to pursue any kind of future, let alone her passion: a career in fashion.
That’s when Vanessa turned to The Door. Our Legal Services Center helps young people who are:
* in deportation proceedings
* in need of proper forms of personal identification, such as birth certificate, passport, etc.
* in need of public benefits
Vanessa was initially shocked at how supportive and attentive The Door staff was, calling The Door “a judge-free zone.” To her relief, she received her green card within months, followed by a new job. The whole process took less than a year and suddenly, her next steps to ensure her future came into focus. returning to The Door for help applying for financial aid and other grants for college through our college advisement and tutoring program.
Learn more about our Legal Services Program here.