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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-10-06-2006-00.htm

Press Release: Saturday, 10th June 2006, 27 Jayth (Samvat 538 Nanakshahi)

FIRST SIKH LEGAL CLINIC STARTED IN NYC

Next Legal Clinic: June 11th: Time 2:00pm - 4:00pm: “Changes in Immigration Law” at 118-11, 97 Avenue in Richmond Hill, New York.

New York , NY : The first free legal clinic for NY Sikhs, to educate them about their legal rights and how the law affects their lives, was held last month. The legal clinic, organized by the UNITED SIKHS Legal Advocacy Wing (US LAW), dealt at length with the proposed immigration reforms which would have a great impact on the legal status of undocumented aliens.

New York Attorneys Kuljeet Singh and Tejinder Singh gave a talk and then fielded questions during the legal clinic, which was held at 118-11, 97 Avenue in Richmond Hill , New York . Kuljeet Singh, has been a practicing attorney for the last 15 years and his area of expertise is immigration, civil and criminal litigation. Tejinder Singh, UNITED SIKHS’ legal advisor, has been practicing law for the last 14 years and his expertise is in criminal defense, landlord and tenant disputes, matrimonial and family law, rental assistance and government benefits. The clinic was attended by over 30 people.

Recently Sikhs who were granted asylum and whose applications are pending have been subject to random re-examination of their immigration status. Such cases are being re-evaluated and may result in deportation. UNITED SIKHS has been informed of two such cases being investigated by the FBI - one from NYC and another from New Jersey . There is a fear that the number of such cases may escalate.


Attorneys Tejinder Singh and Kuljeet Singh Fielding Questions During the Legal Clinic

Mr Inderjeet Singh said Sikhs should attend these clinics and be informed about Immigration issues and changes in the law and practice.

“We had an overwhelming response and we will be running another immigration law clinic this Sunday, 11 th June, at the same venue at 2pm . We hope to attract more lawyers to volunteer their time so we could cover many legal issues,” said Kuldip Singh, President of UNITED SIKHS

“Through these legal clinics, which we will run regularly on various areas of the law, we hope to provide proactive advocacy whereby the knowledge gained could help people assert their rights individually,” he added.


Audience at the UNITED SIKHS Legal Clinic

The clinic commenced with an introduction by Arvind Kaur, UNITED SIKHS’ Community Service Coordinator, to the various programs being initiated by UNITED SIKHS in the NY area. Mr. Kuljeet Singh then gave the audience an insight into the latest proposed reforms of immigration law. He said that the reforms were still in the proposal stage and that one should be cautious of unethical and manipulative attorneys who make money by selling hopes and dreams. He advised everyone to file taxes and to maintain clean records in order to be the best candidates for a Green Card . Mr. Tejinder Singh enlightened the audience on the rights of undocumented aliens.

He said, “Silence is the best defense. You are not required to disclose your immigration status. Wait for your attorney to provide your details if required.”

The clinic also touched on matrimonial and family law disputes. Mr Tejinder Singh gave the audience a snapshot of the various government benefits available and how to access them. He provided information on various non-profit organizations that deal in welfare and other benefits.

The audience was also given an opportunity to seek individual legal advice in private. The clinic gave everyone an avenue to remove doubts and educate themselves.

Please call 1-888-243-1690 for any Immigration related queries or advice.

Issued by:
Arvind Kaur
Community Service Project Co-ordinator
UNITED SIKHS
1-888-243-1690


Our Mission

To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.

Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.