IMPACT: CLS Helps Immigrants

CLS’s work with immigrants, including those who are undocumented, prevents exploitation, lifts people out of poverty, and allows our clients to have a fair chance at accessing justice. CLS regularly represents immigrant clients and we advocate on behalf immigrant and refugee communities in a number of ways, including:

IMPACT: Rose Candelario

Rose Candelario and her husband, Raleigh Blythe, were shocked to find their house on a list of foreclosures- particularly since they had been making regular payments to their mortgage. They found out that they had been tricked into taking out a predatory loan, which included a $15,000 balloon payment that the bank did not disclose to them.Rose: “We didn’t know anything about predatory loans. I didn’t even know what a balloon loan was and how it worked. I thought in 15 years, the loan was supposed to be paid in full. We didn’t know there was going to be a balance.”

IMPACT: Getting Paid For His Work

Nathaneal Rodriquez, a restaurant worker and aspiring musician, always had a passion for food. “I grew up in a household where we were all cooking together,” the 33-year-old says. He honed his cooking skills by working in food services during his time in the Marines. When Nathaneal came back to Philadelphia, he worked diligently at several restaurants in the city, all under the same owner.

IMPACT: Safe and Sound

It is no secret that violence in the streets is one of Philadelphia’s most pervasive problems. Often unseen, however, is the rampant violence hidden within Philadelphia’s homes, despite its widespread, cross-cultural, and cross-generational presence.[1]Even more unrealized are the collateral effects of sexual and domestic abuse; victims suffer not only the physical[2] and emotional consequences of abuse[3], but also  the legal issues that arise, such as denial of housing, or eviction based on past incidents of violence. Although more than 100,000 domestic violence reports are filed to the Philadelphia Police Department annually, the city has just two shelters designated for victims of domestic violence, with only 200 beds. Housing discrimination, coupled with a crippling lack of resources for victims of domestic and sexual violence, often leaves the abused with nowhere to turn but the streets.

IMPACT: Capreece Lackey

Capreece Lackey finally got her pardon in June 2013 and her record has been expunged to a clean one, giving her a fresh start. She is looking forward to beginning her healthcare career.Below is Capreece’s story, reprinted from our FY2012 Annual Report:Capreece Lackey is striving for a career where she can help people and provide for her family in a meaningful way. Clean and sober for 13 years, Ms. Lackey has a goal of becoming a Certified Nurse’s Assistant someday.

IMPACT: Protecting Restaurant Workers

CLS’ Employment Unit has represented hundreds of restaurant workers over the years, recovering stolen wages and enforcing labor laws. The vast majority of our clients facing exploitation in the restaurant business have been undocumented immigrant workers, although our clients fit many other demographic profiles.Wage theft is a common practice by employers looking to cut costs in this low regulation, low union density industry.  We have helped clients with a wide variety of issues, including people who were not paid their last few paychecks, were denied overtime despite working more than 40 hours in a week, had their tips stolen by their employers, had improper deductions from their paychecks, had to pay for dine-and-dash customers, suffered discrimination, and were injured on the job but not given proper medical attention.

IMPACT: Fighting Youth Homelessness

Like far too many youth aging out of foster care, Ryan was homeless.He was working hard to find a job when he learned he had a bench warrant for a retail theft citation issued to him when he was just 12 years old. He never received the notice for court because his family was homeless at the time. This bench warrant was standing in the way of Ryan getting a job and an education.