Providing Legal Services to Those in Need

October 29, 2019 Ascentria Care Alliance
Ascentria’s Immigration Legal Assistance Program (ILAP) was recently awarded a generous grant of $81,600 from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts’ Activation Fund Grant. This grant will support our work to provide free and low-cost legal services to immigrants in Massachusetts. 
 
ILAP is one of a few organizations in Central MA providing free and low-cost legal services to immigrants. Similar to most legal aid providers across the state, its clients are primarily, survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, child abuse, and certain qualifying crimes and our funding for full representation is limited to these cases.  However, we have a large and growing request to take on cases outside of these priority areas and have only been able to offer limited representation legal services program to low income immigrants in completing applications for immigration relief and/or benefits. This grant enables Ascentria’s ILAP team to expand its services to fully represent clients seeking asylum, or unaccompanied minors seeking protection for reasons outside of the priorities, such as due to political affiliation, sexual orientation, or neglect, in the case of children, find it difficult to obtain immigration legal representation. We will be able to add to our staffing capacity to serve a wider range of immigrants who can afford low-cost or “low bono” fee scale and, at the same time, generate the necessary income to ensure this work sustainable after the grant ends.