A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action
Last Revised: Mar 07, 2011 - Initial Posting: May 28, 2003
Purpose

New Opportunities, Inc. established the Immigrant Advocacy Center to assist the growing population of immigrants with their efforts to gain legal status or citizenship.

Description

New Opportunities, Inc. established the Immigrant Advocacy Center to assist two groups of immigrants with their efforts to gain legal status or citizenship:

  • Those in the United States illegally and trying to gain legal status
  • Those in the United States legally and trying to upgrade their citizenship

An intake form is completed and support services offered to help individuals understand their legal rights. Referrals are made to private attorneys if deportation or criminal issues are involved (assistance with paperwork is often provided to the attorney to help minimize legal costs).

Translation services are provided by program staff or through the Iowa Division of Human Rights for languages or dialects not spoken by staff. Notary services are also offered. Assistance is provided based on a fee schedule for a range of services including consultation only and completion of specific immigration forms.

Citizenship classes are held to review citizenship test questions and to provide English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.

The program is staffed by one position and funding is through United Way, donations and fees for services. Staff participates in basic and advanced training to gain the necessary knowledge and understanding of immigration laws and requirements. Publications used for reference material include:

ILRC        A Guide for Immigration Advocates - ILRC       USCIS        A Guide to Naturalization - USCIS
Outcomes

New Opportunities, Inc. has been given formal recognition as an Immigrant Assistance Organization and staff has received partial accreditation for completion of immigration advocacy training.

Contact

Chad Jensen, Chief Executive Officer
712.792.9266