LatinoJustice Opens Satellite Office in Touro Law Center in Long Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2017

Contact: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or jgarcia@latinojustice.org

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a national leader in the fight for Latino civil and human rights, has opened up a satellite office located at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center in Central Islip. The office is staffed by a legal fellow and a community organizer, and will also be used by LatinoJustice’s NYC-based legal staff working in Long Island.

LatinoJustice, whose headquarters is located in Manhattan and has a Southeast Regional office in Orlando, Florida, has been engaging in increasing civil rights work in Long Island over the past decade as the Latino community has grown significantly during that time, and is in increasing need of legal services.

“This expansion to Long Island has been a long time coming as the community has been increasingly calling us seeking legal assistance and civil rights protection,” said Jose Perez, LatinoJustice PRLDEF Deputy General Counsel. “For over a decade, we have regularly traveled to Long Island to assist Latinos to oppose anti-immigrant practices ranging from discriminatory policing practices including racially profiling Latino motorists, immigration home raids, workplace justice, voting rights and redistricting. It is time we have a regular physical office location in the region.”

LatinoJustice PRLDEF has in the past represented Long Island Latino residents in several major law reform cases including successfully stopping discriminatory mass evictions of Latinos by Brookhaven, attempts to foreclose a public hiring site for day laborers in Southampton, illegal home raids by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and local police failure to investigate hate crimes perpetrated against Latinos. The organization has also helped organize and partnered with local activists and supporters like the Long Island Immigrant Alliance on similar issues.

“We are delighted that Latino Justice has reopened their Long Island Office at Touro Law’s Public Advocacy Center. The need for services to Long Island’s immigrant community continues to grow and this office can facilitate critical connections to other Long Island advocacy groups as well as involving Touro students in this important work” said Thomas Maligno, Executive Director of the Public Advocacy Center and Director of Public Interest.

Nathalia Alejandra Varela joined LJP’s legal staff in April as LatinoJustice’s Long Island Latinx at Work (LAW) Project Legal Fellow and will be based primarily out of the new office. Varela will be serving the Long Island low-income workers’ population and will focus on labor and employment issues in Nassau County, by providing direct legal services and educational know your rights resources, as well as engaging in law reform impact litigation to address systemic issues of discrimination. .

“During this time of increased scrutiny and turmoil in Long Island’s Latino community, it is imperative that LatinoJustice provide support and legal advice,” says Varela. “Latino workers contribute to the economy and culture on Long Island, and deserve to be protected by the laws that ensure safety for all Long-Islanders. I’m filled with a great sense of joy and pride to return to LatinoJustice PRLDEF, especially on Long Island.”

While attending CUNY Law school, Varela advocated for incarcerated persons on Rikers’ Island and low-income home-owners in Queens New York. She also interned at LatinoJustice and worked on the legal briefing in the Cesar Vargas New York bar admission case, which resulted in a precedential decision declaring that DACA recipients could fulfill the character and fitness requirements and be eligible for admission to the New York State Bar. This decision by the New York State court was heard nation-wide and was a tremendous victory in the immigrants’ rights movement.

Prior to rejoining LatinoJustice, Varela advocated on behalf of low-income persons in New York as a Staff Attorney in the Tenants’ Rights Coalition of Bronx Legal Services, where she practiced eviction defense and affirmative litigation on behalf of tenants in Bronx County.

To contact LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s Long Island satellite office located at:

225 Eastview Drive, PAC #207, Central Islip, New York 11722 Call 1.631. 650.2303, or toll-free 1.800.328.2322

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