The grief is real.

Mothers yanked away from sons and daughters after decades of law-abiding lives in the US; frightened youngsters stranded in foster care; modest workers in search of opportunity but targeted as criminals. Congress willing to sacrifice vulnerable immigrants at the altar of political expediency. A whole generation of undocumented children growing up under fears of deportation.

This is not the America you and I believe in.

To help restore American values of justice and inclusiveness is why I joined LALDEF.  That is also the reason I invite you to attend our second Stakeholders Meeting on Wednesday, May 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, at Nassau Presbyterian Church (61 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542).

Come and hear our members and volunteers describe their work on behalf of our community of citizens and immigrants.  Listen to the testimonies of Latinos and Latinas, young and old who have benefited from the services LALDEF provides.  Capture the spirit of struggle and hope that has always been part of the American Dream. And partake of a delicious meal prepared by immigrant hands. It will be a joyful event meant to inform and inspire.

Since 2004, when it was created, LALDEF has educated and advocated on behalf of immigrants in Central New Jersey:

  • We have provided legal referrals, health fairs, and programs to inform residents about rights and responsibilities under the law.
  • Since 2010, we have issued more than 14,000 community ID cards for people without other forms of identification–elderly residents, new immigrants, persons without homes, and parolees.
  • We have seen 50 promising students graduate from our FUTURO program, an initiative meant to offer support to qualified youngsters as they transition from high school to college.
    • Fifteen students are currently enrolled, and another 30 will be admitted this fall.
  • Our adult education classes have served over 550 students and our legal service load is up by 200% since 2016 due to increased demand and capacity.
  • For the last five years, we have operated a community center in Trenton, Welcome House/Casa de Bienvenida where we provide vital assistance. Casa de Bienvenida will soon be moving to a new, larger building where we will expand services and focus on families.

It is an exciting, promising time for LALDEF.

Join us then on May 23rd for what promises to be a memorable occasion. Your presence will invigorate our mission of service during these difficult times.  Together we can affirm our nation’s shared norms of hospitality and decency.

Drop us a line, confirming that you will attend our stakeholders meeting.

I look forward to greeting you personally.

Patricia Fernández-Kelly