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Immigrant and Refugee Services

The Bishop Francis Center for Legal Immigration Services – Immigrant & Refugee Services

Children & Youth

Funded by NJ DHS, this program provides legal representation and case management to unaccompanied immigrant children and similarly situated youth in New Jersey.

Immigration Assistance Program

“Immigrants are our brothers and sisters.” ~Pope Francis

Direct Representation

Catholic Charities provides low cost and pro bono legal assistance in all phases of immigration and naturalization proceedings, including removal defense (asylum, cancellation of removal, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status), family petitions, waivers of inadmissibility, humanitarian applications (VAWA, U visa, T visa), TPS, DACA, and naturalization. All cases are handled by an attorney or Department of Justice Accredited Representative. Program staff are also available to provide educational workshops on immigration law and current  immigration issues.

Immigrant Detainees

In coordination with several other local non-profit organizations, Catholic Charities provides legal screenings and pro se assistance to immigrant detainees at Essex County Correctional Facility. We conduct in-depth interviews, provide assistance with declaration preparation and country conditions research, facilitate referral of cases for representation, and connect families of detainees with important information and resources. For more information or to request a consultation, please call us (973) 733-3516 or send an email to *All consultations are confidential.

Legal Orientation Program for Custodians (LOPC)

LOPC connects sponsors of unaccompanied minors with critical information about Immigration Court proceedings, medical and mental health services, school registration, and community youth programs. Sponsors participate in a 90-minute presentation, including a Q&A session, leave with a packet of resources, and receive a follow-up check-in phone call the week after the orientation. LOPC staff can be reached at

Safe Release Support

The Safe Release Support Program helps reunite migrant children with their families in the United States. Catholic Charities offers family members with crucial assistance in the background check process and provides referrals for legal assistance, medical and mental health services, and other social services for both the sponsoring family members and the children they receive. For more information, please contact

Immigration Court Helpdesk and Family Group Legal Orientation Program

For unrepresented individuals and families in removal proceedings, these programs offer group and individual orientations on court practices, procedures, and general information about options related to relief and protection from removal.

Refugee Social Services

“Jesus was a refugee. [He] had to flee to save his life.” ~Pope Francis

Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)

RCA is a federal cash assistance program for refugee populations who are not otherwise eligible for direct financial assistance, including Cuban/Haitian entrants, asylees, refugees, and victims of human trafficking. Catholic Charities assists RCA clients in accessing available cash assistance, applying for benefits, accessing medical care, and developing longer-term plans for self-sufficiency. For more information about RCA eligibility, please call (201) 407-7713 or email

Refugee Support Services (RSS)

RSS helps refugees gain economic independence and integrate into local communities by helping to find and maintain employment and addressing barriers to employment including English language instruction, child care, and access to legal services. For more information, please call (201) 306-1338 or email

Mother Theresa House

In partnership with St. Theresa of Calcutta parish, Catholic Charities provides temporary housing for asylum-seeking families. Volunteers assist families with English as a Second Language (ESL), tutoring, transportation, and connection to community resources. If you are interested in volunteering at MTH, please contact Catholic Charities’ Office of Volunteer Services at
590 North 7th Street · Newark, NJ 07107