In 1999, Fr. Brian Jordan, OFM started an immigration center, a resource and referral center for newly-arrived immigrants. It sought to reach out to the “poor, the immigrant and the alienated,” by offering free legal services to low-income immigrants. For 14 years, it has helped more than 700 individuals and families.
Realizing the growing need to protect the rights of non-citizens in the recent context of a broken immigration system, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi that housed the immigration center that Fr. Jordan started has formally rededicated itself to the immigrant community of New York and on November 2, 2013 under the leadership of Fr. Julian S. Jagudilla, OFM new-named and re-branded the immigration center to The Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The Migrant Center expanded on the initial immigration legal services to include education and outreach, advocacy and networking.
The essence of the rebranding effort focused on reflecting the Franciscan spirit of welcoming the “strangers among us” which became the hallmark of the Migrant Center at the Church St. Francis of Assisi. For 5 years, the Migrant Center assisted more than 2500 individuals and families.
See in the growing need and the many changes in the immigration landscape, the Migrant Center at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi registered as a separate independent entity and became The Migrant Center of New York, Inc. – a different name but the same Vision, Mission, services and welcoming spirit in a new and different reality.