Through the Mississippi Department of Health, we receive federal funding from the Office of Violence Against Women and the Office for Victims of Crime to provide pro bono legal and case management services to immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, and other sorts of persecution. Our staff helps immigrant survivors apply for legal immigration status under specific laws that the U.S. Congress passed to address humanitarian needs of crime survivors and to enhance the overall social well-being. For a description of the most common types of immigration benefits available to survivors, please see: Immigration Legal Services.
In addition to screening clients for eligibility and providing expert legal services, El Pueblo strives to ensure that immigrants are able to access life-saving services. We work with partner victims service agencies, law-enforcement agencies and prosecutors, courts, and other government agencies to promote best practices in language access and cultural competency. In light of our expertise with immigrant survivors, we are the Mississippi NGO partner in a multi-state project to train state court judges about issues affecting immigrant families in civil legal matters. This project is funded by the Kellogg Foundation and led by the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project’s Community of Practice (NIWAP) at American University. Our bilingual staff also work closely with the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence to provide language-appropriate case management services for immigrant survivors of violent crime.
We host Mujeres Unidas (Women United), a peer-to-peer support group created in 2008 that provides a safe space for immigrant survivors to relax and share resources while also learning about the dynamics of family violence, supportive parenting skills, financial literacy, nutrition, jewelry, health, and other topics of importance to the women. The group is collectively run by over a dozen immigrant women from different cultures. Mujeres Unidas is designed to enhance emotional and psychological well-being, and the group engages in advocacy, fellowship, and leadership development. Mujeres Unidas has partnered with the Gulfport Center of Entrepreneurship and a master sewer in order to help participants build skills that enable economic independence.
For more information about services for survivors, please call our Biloxi office at (228) 436-3986 or visit 425B Division St., Biloxi, MS 39530 during office hours (Mon-Thurs, 9:00-5:00). We also host a Mujeres Unidas group at our Forest office which you can call at (601) 564-7148 or visit 203 E 1st St., Forest, MS 39074.
To read more about humanitarian legal provisions for immigrant survivors, see: https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/ht_uscis_immigration_options.pdf.