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JF&CS refugee and immigration work highlighted this month

For refugees and legal immigrants arriving in Pittsburgh and acclimating to their new communities, JF&CS provides crucial assistance ensuring that our region’s newest arrivals have a successful start in Pittsburgh by providing resettlement, legal, employment and support services. This week, JF&CS’s work in this area was highlighted in several articles, and we hope you’ll take the time to read more about JF&CS’s commitment to welcoming and supporting refugees and immigrants here in Pittsburgh.

In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article “Refugees plant roots in Pittsburgh,” JF&CS refugee employment specialist Benedict Killang shares his personal story of fleeing from Sudan, and the full scope of JF&CS’s refugee and legal-related immigration services are highlighted.

In the Fall 2012 issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly, Leslie Aizenman, director of refugee services at JF&CS, was interviewed for the feature “Pittsburgh’s New Immigrants,” about the increasing numbers of refugees resettled in Pittsburgh, as well as secondary refugees (resettled originally elsewhere) and immigrants choosing Pittsburgh as their new home, and how local nonprofits are working to meet their needs. Visit the news section on our website to view the article.

Refugee and immigrant populations greatly add to the cultural and workforce diversity of our region, and at the same time help to increase population numbers. JF&CS has helped thousands of refugees and immigrants successfully resettle in communities throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area. They have gone on to raise their families, buy homes and open their own businesses in their new neighborhoods.  As cities like Baltimore, Dayton and many others across the nation are implementing initiatives to welcome and attract immigrants, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article “Pittsburgh looking to increase immigrant population,” delves into how businesses and organizations in Pittsburgh are attracting and welcoming refugee and immigrant populations to increase the vibrancy, diversity and population of our region.

And, in light of the new “deferred action” policy that was announced in June, JF&CS held several informational sessions and workshops this month to assist our immigrant population in applying for deferred action, which allows eligible applicants to legally work in the United States for up to two years without the fear of deportation. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article “Pittsburgh’s immigrants cautious about new policy,”shares several stories of young immigrants in Pittsburgh who were brought to the United States by their families as children, and how JF&CS is helping those who are eligible for deferred action to complete the application.

JF&CS’s services are crucial to ensuring refugees and legal immigrants are fully supported to establish new lives in our community. To volunteer or to find more ways you can help support JF&CS’s programs and refugees in our community, please contact Leslie Aizenman at laizenman@jfcspgh.org or for legal-related immigration services, questions or to volunteer in our immigration-related legal services department, contact Jamie Englert at jenglert@jfcspgh.org, or call 412-422-7200.