“America will never be destroyed from outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln
Why Does Morris County Need the Center for Citizenship and Legal Immigration?
MCOHA is an important source of services and assistance for Morris County community members, in particular those with lower incomes as well as cultural or language barriers. We serve over 8,000 residents each year, many of whom were born outside the U.S.
For immigrant families with limited resources or education, we have seen first-hand in our work that the citizenship process can represent an insurmountable hurdle towards becoming fully functioning, contributing members of our communities. Before the Center was formed, Morris County residents had to either seek expensive private legal services or travel to nonprofit centers in Essex or Hudson County. Both of these options placed significant burdens on immigrants who don’t have financial means or who often rely on public transportation.
Community Support for the Center’s Mission
The Center for Citizenship and Legal Immigration emerged from MCOHA’s vision to inspire hope and community integration, and to help build a community that promotes cultural heritage while ensuring that everyone is respected, self-sufficient, and engaged in making a difference. In forming the Center in 2014, we talked to a wide range of corporate, community, civic and philanthropic leaders in Morris County. We received unanimous agreement that the Center would be a much-needed community resource.
We have had many partners in helping to create and build the Center. Our advisory board is composed of leaders of community organizations including Morris County Chamber of Commerce, F.M. Kirby Foundation, CASA Morris County, Catholic Charities, Atlantic Health, Samsung, the Community Foundation of NJ, and MCOHA Board and staff.
MCOHA is also fortunate to have the passionate support of CCLI Ambassadors who have committed to fundraising and advocating for the Center. Our Ambassadors come from all different sectors of the community, including the Housing Partnership of Morris County and different rotary clubs. The Center has also been endorsed by the Morris County Bar Foundation and the NJ Hispanic Bar Association.
Assisting Those Eager to Become U.S. Citizens
Today, the Center helps as many as 500 Morris County immigrant individuals and families of all heritages to understand their rights under the law. The Center has a professional team including an attorney, paralegal, and administrative assistant who offer consultations, prepare immigration applications, and provide clients with legal representation. Rates are affordable, and reduced or waived fees are available for those who demonstrate financial need.