June 3, 2021
BALTIMORE – Today, World Relief’s Baltimore Immigration Legal Clinic revealed its new name: World Relief Baltimore Immigrant Services Office. The Legal Clinic has had a presence in Maryland since 2004 as the service arm of the home office, offering immigration legal services, but by a change in office status to field office, the Baltimore location will be able to offer a broader range of services to immigrants in a wider variety of situations. In the short term, World Relief Baltimore will be able to expand the current services of advising and representing immigrants and their family members in immigration matters such as applying for permanent residence, family petitions, citizenship, work permits, TPS and DACA.
“World Relief Baltimore Immigrant Services Office’s transition to a field office will connect it more effectively with World Relief’s U.S. programs and expand its access to support for volunteer engagement, funding and resources that will assist with vision and mission for how we serve immigrants in the area,” said Jenn Foy, World Relief vice president of U.S. programs. “We want to address community needs by expanding the office’s capacity.”
Immigration legal services is a powerful and important program that World Relief Baltimore has been running for over fifteen years. Immigration legal services at World Relief field offices has three key components: legal advising, community education & outreach and direct legal representation. By becoming a field office, World Relief Baltimore’s change in status will enable the location to expand its offerings in all three categories as well as to respond to local needs. World Relief has not had a resettlement office in Maryland since its Anne Arundel County field office closed in 2017 after three years in operation.
“Building our capacity to serve immigrants is the most important thing. There’s such a need for legal service support to immigrants in our Baltimore City region and the state of Maryland, particularly in the realm of DACA and family petitions,” said World Relief Baltimore program director Laure Pepper Covert. “We’re now helping unite families and provide a wide range of legal representation that increases the stability of our clients. This shift will help us prioritize direct representation, which helps immigrants get the legal counsel and support they need to navigate the complex immigration legal system.”
Prior to COVID-19, World Relief’s Baltimore location served an average number of 500 immigrants per year: two-thirds consisted of legal advising, and one-third consisted of cases. The pandemic halted in-person legal advising, but with its upgraded status as a field office and a renovated office space in the building on May 15, 2021, World Relief Baltimore hopes to see clients soon in a socially distanced manner. The new space will increase efficiencies and conveniences for clients by allowing in-person communication.
In times like these, World Relief Baltimore’s commitment to serve and love the most vulnerable is deepened, and the need to continue this vital work is as important as ever. To learn more about World Relief’s work in Baltimore City and the state of Maryland visit https://worldrelief.org/baltimore.
To download a PDF version of this press release, click here.
About World Relief
World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that brings sustainable solutions to the world’s greatest problems – disasters, extreme poverty, violence, oppression, and mass displacement. For over 75 years, we’ve partnered with churches and community leaders in the U.S. and abroad to bring hope, healing and transformation to the most vulnerable.
Learn more at worldrelief.org.