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City Bar Justice Center to Expand Services in 2011

The Justice Center has plans to expand services in two areas in 2011. The first involves the Immigrant Women and Children Project, which has become a leading project in fighting labor and sex trafficking under its Director, Suzanne Tomatore, a nationally known expert in the trafficking field. The Justice Center has been selected to receive an Equal Justice Works Fellow (EJW) starting in Fall 2011 to increase its pro bono work with minors trafficked into this country. Greenberg Traurig is sponsoring the EJW fellow, the addition of whom will allow the involvement of more pro bono firms in handling anti-trafficking cases. The Justice Center is also working with Vera on a project it is conducting to pilot a trafficking screening tool to better identify trafficking victims. The problem is “hidden in plain sight,” as one public campaign to improve victim identification has noted.

The second area is an expansion of the Justice Center’s pro bono work with detained immigrants. The Justice Center was pleased to win its first cancellation of removal case for a detained client in February. The client, a Jewish refugee from Ukraine who has been in this country as a lawful permanent resident since 1995, walked out of a New Jersey county correctional institution and headed back to his home in Brooklyn after 10 months in detention. In early March, the Justice Center’s Fragomen Fellow won a second cancellation of removal case for a middle-aged Dominican green-card holder who had been in detention for six months.

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