From left, Deputy Consul General Kerwin Tate; Gloria Garcia of NY County District Attorney’s Office; Atty. Edward Carrasco; Jack Lally, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; and Consul General Claro S. Cristobal.

The Philippine Consulate General in New York hosted a Know Your Rights Seminar on Immigration and Free Legal Clinic at the Philippine Center in New York on March 30, 2019.

The seminar was attended by FilCom leaders, volunteer lawyers and other community and church-based migrant advocates.

Jack Lally of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) focused his presentation on the services that are available to all New York residents.

Lally emphasized that the city supports all New Yorkers and services are available to everyone, including undocumented immigrants.

The city’s programs include assistance for education, health care, immigration legal help, public safety and the IDNYC.

Lally categorically said that the “city will not ask about immigration status unless it is necessary to do its job.”

He further said that “any information on immigration status are kept confidential.”

During the workshop, Consul General Claro S. Cristobal signified the Philippine Consulate willingness to partner with the Office of the Mayor on the issuance of New York City ID to those Filipinos, documented or otherwise, who are qualified.

The consul general further offered the Philippine Center as enrollment center for the IDNYC.

Lally promised to coordinate the matter with the Consulate as soon as possible.

Gloria Garcia, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau of the New York County District Attorney’s Office, made her presentation regarding immigrant fraud and expressed the determination of her office in combatting fraud and their continued effort to stamp out schemes which victimizes vulnerable individuals.

Atty. Edward Carrasco, former NYPD Deputy Inspector and the highest ranking Fil-Am in the history of the NYPD, discussed recent immigration developments in the United States, particularly on changes on rules and regulations on immigration.

In his capacity as former NYPD officer, Carrasco also provided pointers on how to act appropriately with police officers, particularly when confronted by police authorities or when pulled-over by traffic police.

The consul general expressed his thanks to the panelists and participants and reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that migration concerns remain a major policy concern of the Philippine Consulate as it affects the well-being of all Filipinos in the U.S. Northeast.

To enable participants to further discuss their immigration concerns and issues, a legal clinic was held immediately after the workshop.

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