Immigration Advocacy Services
By Ilija Sekulovski
This week Give Me Astoria got to learn about Immigration Advocacy Services, a not-for-profit organization offering help to New York City’s immigrants. We sat down with Tony Meloni, the executive director of Immigration Advocacy Services.
Immigration Advocacy Services was founded 25 years ago , and in less than three decades they’ve helped more than 40,000 immigrants from over 122 countries pursue citizenship, green cards, sponsorship and much more. Made up of 17 people and 4 attorneys, all staff is solely focused on matters of immigration. From law-counselors to paralegals and attorneys, every member of the staff is up to date on all things immigration, offering the best services in Astoria.
There are new problems immigrants face daily, forcing them to have to find a new home. Most recently, the Philippines typhoon forced millions from their homes, many of whom have family in New York. Tony tell us a huge problem many New York City residents take on is that they marry overseas, and are then faced with the task of sponsoring their spouse. Sometimes, families will be separated from their parents, children, brothers and sisters when they move to New York, and want to bring over their loved ones.
Tony tell us the biggest misconception people have is that all immigrants are uneducated and simply looking for a new home. In actuality, many immigrants are highly educated, coming to the States with Master’s degrees and Ph D’s, from developed countries like Japan and Australia.
If there’s one thing that Tony Meloni wants Give Me Astoria readers to know about, it’s the Dream Act light, which was just introduced last year. This helps students who have grown up in America, such as those whose parents brought them over at just a few months. These students are undocumented, and yet know no home but America. The Dream Act Light is making strides in helping students of immigrant families achieve their dreams, despite immigration problems.
Immigration Advocacy Services is an amazing, friendly, helpful environment, and Tony is beaming with the desire to continue making a difference, like he has been for the past 25 years. The staff is warm and welcoming, and they are patient with every new case they deal with. They also offer free consultations at any time, so if you know someone that needs immigration help, Immigration Advocacy Services is the perfect place to send them.