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Grant allows CLIA to expand services for immigrants

Grant allows CLIA to expand services for immigrants

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The Center for Legal Immigration Assistance (CLIA), a Lincoln-based nonprofit, has received a Nebraska Crime Commission federal grant under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to empower immigrants who have been victims of crime.

“With VOCA, we can now provide mental health services along with the legal immigration assistance that we have been able to provide for two decades,” said CLIA Executive Director Max Graves. “This is especially important because it further allows us to help the survivors who have suffered atrocities by safeguarding them from any legal immigration repercussions they may face.”

The $167,000 grant will allow CLIA to expand its scope of services. The organization was founded in 2001 to provide high quality, affordable legal immigration services. The accredited assistance is provided to clients for minimal legal fees based on a sliding scale. Victims of domestic violence are served pro bono.

Many immigrants are victims of domestic abuse and other crimes.

“With the grant and our expanded services, we can all stand with the survivors and empower them to come forward with the abuse they have endured with comfort and support while reducing the negative stigma often associated with these heartbreaking situations,” Graves said.

In other news, CLIA board chair Jane Langan Mach announced that Graves will be retiring from his role as the center’s executive director Aug. 1. Graves helped start the organization and has served as its director since 2001.

“We are grateful for the invaluable service Max has been to immigrants and to our entire community,” Langan Mach said. “We are all better because of the work he has done.”

The board will begin a search for a new director in the coming weeks.

Those needing affordable assistance with immigration issues can visit CLIAneb.org or call 402-471-1777.

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