Welcome to the Profile page for

Sarah Block

About Author

Sarah Block (sblock)

  • Email: sarah@ayuda.com
  • Nice Name: sblock
  • Website:
  • Registered On :2015-05-22 23:16:31
  • Logged in at: sblock
  • Author ID: 4

Author Posts

**English version of press release included below the Spanish version**

 

PARA PUBLICACIÓN IMMEDIATA

Fecha: Julio 19, 2017
Jennifer Ristau | (202) 552-3615 | jenne@ayuda.com |Anne Schaufele | (202) 552-3604  | annes@ayuda.com |

Conozca a la Culebra Canalla, la nueva cara de la campaña para la prevención del fraude de Ayuda, una organización sin fines de lucro que sirve a inmigrantes de bajo recursos con servicios sociales y legales en el área del DMV.

Ayuda ha creado a la Culebra Canalla para ayudar a consumidores a conocer las señales de advertencia antes de ser mordidos por costosas tarifas que quizás no puedan recuperar, o peor, enfrentar la deportación debido a un caso mal preparado.

Como miembros de medios de comunicación, puede utilizar estos “memes” cuando reporten acerca de estafas de este tipo o a través de las redes sociales.

Un ejemplo de estafa de servicios migratorios está dirigido a inmigrantes hispanohablantes a través de esquemas en los que los estafadores usan el término conocido como “notario”, término español utilizado en muchos países para referirse a un abogado, para engañar a consumidores a pensar que esta persona está autorizada en los Estados Unidos a proveer consejos y servicios legales.

Otras estafas comunes que afectan a los inmigrantes de todas nacionalidades e idiomas incluyen imitadores de empleados del gobierno federal o de inmigración, tanto como individuos quienes pretenden ser abogados licenciados o los llamados “consultores de inmigración.” Los estafadores eligen como blancos a los inmigrantes para explotar sus deseos de ajustar su estatus.

Anne Schaufele, Coordinadora del Proyecto END (Eliminando Notarios Deshonestos) de Ayuda explica, “Hemos identificado más que setenta y cinco negocios en el área metropolitana de Washington, DC que proveen servicios legales de inmigración sin tener la licencia y capacitación necesaria, y nos preocupan los negocios con malas intenciones. Los resultados han sido desastrosos y han incluido en un caso, la separación de un padre de su conyugue y sus tres hijos, ciudadanos americanos, y la pérdida de más que $50,000 en otro. La prevención y la aplicación de las leyes es clave.”

¡Por favor, ayúdenos a difundir los “memes”, disponibles en inglés y en español, con las seis señales de advertencia antes de que el próximo estafador(a) muerda!

Revise y comparta los seis memes en nuestro sitio de Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1776727459008194.1073741839.221236191224003&type=1&l=ab14603fe0

Vea el texto de los seis “memes” aquí:

1. SIEMPRE asegúrese de que la persona que usted contrató tiene licencia para ejerces leyes en los E.E. U.U.
NUNCA contrate a un “notario público” para ayudarle en su caso de inmigración. Un notario público no es un abogado en los E.E. U.U.

2. SIEMPRE tenga cuidado con cualquiera que le pida que pague antes que haya una manera de aplicar
NUNCA pague a alguien que no le dé un recibo

3. SIEMPRE asegúrese de entender lo que se debe hacer en su caso, y por qué, antes de continuar
NUNCA firme nada que usted no entienda, o que esté en blanco

4. SIEMPRE asegúrese de recibir una copia de todas las aplicaciones en su caso
NUNCA deje sus documentos originales

5. SIEMPRE busque ayuda si su representante amenaza con hacerle daño a usted o a su caso de inmigración.
NUNCA confíe en un representante que le diga que tiene una conexión especial en el gobierno, porque el gobierno NO acepta sobornos ni hace favores.

6. SIEMPRE obtenga una segunda opinión si tiene dudas acerca del aviso que ha recibido
NUNCA confíe en alguien que le “garantiza” ganar su caso

Si encuentra representantes legales fraudulentos o impostores del gobierno, informe al Proyecto END de Ayuda al (202) 552-3615. Esta información le fue traída por el Proyecto END de Ayuda.

Más acerca de Ayuda
Fundada en 1973, Ayuda ofrece servicios holísticos legales, sociales e interpretación a inmigrantes de bajos recursos en el área metropolitana de Washington.
Los programas de Ayuda incluyen servicios legales y sociales en las siguientes áreas: inmigración, lucha contra la trata, violencia doméstica, asalto sexual, y abogacía para niños inmigrantes; servicios de acceso de idioma para proteger a clientes de aislamiento del lenguaje; y el Proyecto END (Eliminando Notarios Deshonestos) para ayudar a inmigrantes víctimas de estafas de inmigración.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: July 19, 2017
Jennifer Ristau | (202) 552-3615 | jenne@ayuda.com |
Anne Schaufele | (202) 552-3604  | annes@ayuda.com |

Meet Sneaky Snake, the new face of a fraud prevention campaign, brought to you by Ayuda, a non-profit legal and social services organization serving low-income immigrants in the DMV area.
Ayuda has created this Sneaky Snake character to help consumers know the warning signs before they get bitten by costly fees they may not be able to recuperate, or worse, face deportation due to an ill-prepared case.

As members of the media, you are welcome to use these memes when reporting on related scams or via social media.

One example of immigration services fraud targets Spanish-speaking immigrants in schemes where fraudsters use the false cognate, “notario”, a Spanish term for an attorney in many countries, to mislead consumers into thinking that they are authorized to provide legal advice and services in the United States.

Other common scams affecting immigrants of all nationalities and languages include impersonators of federal government or immigration employees, as well as individuals who pretend to be licensed attorneys or so called “immigration consultants.” Fraudsters target immigrants to exploit their desire to adjust their status.

Anne Schaufele, Ayuda’s Project END Coordinator, explains, “We have identified over seventy-five businesses in the DC metropolitan area that provide immigration legal services without the proper law license or training, and we are concerned about those businesses with ill-intent. The results have been disastrous, and have included the separation of a father from his spouse and three, U.S. citizen children in one case, and the loss of over $50,000 in another. Prevention and enforcement is key.”
Please help us spread the memes, available in English and Spanish, with the six warning signs before the next fraudster bites!

Check out and share the six memes on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1776715405676066.1073741838.221236191224003&type=1&l=98ab022423

See the text from the six memes here:
1. ALWAYS make sure that the person you hired is licensed to practice law in the U.S.
NEVER hire a “notary public” to help you with your immigration case. A notary public is not an attorney in the United States

2. ALWAYS beware of anyone who asks you to pay before there is a way to apply
NEVER pay someone who will not give you a receipt

3. ALWAYS make sure you understand what must be done in your case, and why, before you proceed
NEVER sign anything that you don’t understand, or that’s left blank

4. ALWAYS get a copy of all applications in your case
NEVER leave behind your original documents

5. ALWAYS look for help if your representative threatens to harm you or your immigration case   NEVER trust a representative who says they have a special connection in the government, because the government does NOT accept bribes or do favors

6. ALWAYS get a second opinion if you’re not sure about the advice you’ve been given
NEVER trust anyone who says that they can “guarantee” to win your case

If you encounter fraudulent legal representatives or government imposters, report them to Ayuda at (202) 552-3615. This information was brought to you by Ayuda’s Project END.

About Ayuda
Founded in 1973, Ayuda offers holistic legal, social, and interpretation services to low-income immigrants in the Washington metropolitan region.
Ayuda’s programs include legal and social services in the areas of immigration, anti-trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and advocacy for immigrant children; language access services to free clients from language isolation; and Project END (Eradicating Notario Deceit) to assist immigrant victims of notario/legal services fraud.

Washington, D.C. – Ayuda is pleased to announce that its signature friend raiser—the Welcome Breakfast—will take place on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, from 8:00 am to 9:30 am, at Hamilton Live in downtown Washington.

Ayuda invites community members in the Washington metropolitan region to attend the Welcome Breakfast for an opportunity to experience Ayuda’s mission, hear client stories, interact with board members, staff, and current donors, and discover Ayuda’s life-changing community impact.

This year’s confirmed table hosts include Lori Faeth, former assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Interior; Liz Hein, senior compliance counsel at HP, Inc.; Darla Bishop of AmeriHealth Caritas DC; Alex Dodds of Smart Growth America; and Mauro Morales of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights. Ayuda is grateful to these community ambassadors and volunteers for their leadership.

Ayuda is recruiting up to 25 table hosts to assemble groups of four to ten guests at the event. To learn more about serving as a table host, please contact Arleen Ramirez Borysiewicz via email at arleen@ayuda.com or by phone at (202) 552-3605.

About Ayuda

Ayuda is a 501(c)(3) legal, social, and language access provider that helps vulnerable low-income immigrants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia stop abuses and improve their lives. With 44 years of experience and a highly motivated and skilled team, Ayuda secures justice and vital resources for immigrant individuals and families. As a national leader, Ayuda shares innovations that increase the capacity of providers and systems throughout the United States. Ayuda regularly fields inquiries from attorneys, advocates, and officials residing around the world who want to learn more about our relentless, dignified approach that helps immigrants save and rebuild their lives.

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2017

Washington, D.C. – The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation announced a challenge grant of $5,000 to spur additional giving to Ayuda. Any donation to Ayuda, including a ticket purchase or sponsorship to attend Ayuda’s 44th Anniversary Celebration, can be used to match the challenge grant.

“We hope that this challenge grant spurs more giving to support Ayuda’s critical work,” says Debbi Lindenberg, program officer at the Cafritz Foundation.

“Ayuda is grateful to the Cafritz Foundation for its generous and longstanding support of our mission, and for this timely $5,000 challenge grant. Donors who rise to the challenge will join a remarkable community of leaders and residents from across the DMV. We thank the foundation for its vision and for valuing Ayuda’s work on behalf of low-income immigrants seeking justice,” says Paula Fitzgerald, executive director.

Ayuda’s 44th Anniversary Event will take place on May 16, 2017, at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in downtown Washington, D.C. from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. For more information, contact Sarah Block at (202) 387-4848 ext. 143 or at sarah@ayuda.com.

About Ayuda

Ayuda is a 501(c)(3) legal, social, and language access provider that helps vulnerable low-income immigrants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia stop abuses and improve their lives. With 44 years of experience and a highly motivated and skilled team, Ayuda secures justice and vital resources for immigrant individuals and families. As a national leader, Ayuda shares innovations that increase the capacity of providers and systems throughout the United States. Ayuda regularly fields inquiries from attorneys, advocates, and officials residing around the world who want to learn more about our relentless, dignified approach that helps immigrants save and rebuild their lives.

About the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is the largest private, independent, local foundation focused exclusively on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Foundation is the legacy of Morris Cafritz, one of Washington’s leading commercial and residential builders from the early 1920s to the mid-60s. In the last 10 years, the foundation has awarded $185 million to more than 961 organizations in the areas of community services, arts and humanities, education, health and the environment. The Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for residents of the Washington, DC area.

For Immediate Release

April 4, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) will accept Ayuda’s 2017 Impact Award at its 44th anniversary event on May 16, 2017. Ayuda is pleased to honor the congressman for his exemplary legislative achievements and advocacy supporting immigrants.

Congressman Jamie Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he is a Senior Whip for the Democratic Caucus, the Vice-Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and the Freshman representative to the Democratic Steering & Policy Committee. He also serves on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and the Committee on House Administration. Raskin has been a constitutional law professor at American University Washington College of Law for 25 years and prior to his time in Congress, he was a Maryland State Senator.

“As a Maryland state senator and now as a freshman house representative, Congressman Raskin has proven to be a staunch supporter of immigrants in Maryland and the nation. He champions sound immigration policy—and literally stands with the immigrant community in defense of their civil rights, as he did at Dulles Airport in January 2017. Ayuda is proud to recognize Jamie Raskin for his leadership and legislative impact,” says Paula Fitzgerald, executive director of Ayuda.

“I am honored to be recognized by Ayuda on the wonderful occasion of its 44th anniversary. Every day, Ayuda staff and volunteers wake up and go to work helping immigrants achieve basic opportunity and justice within their rights under law. At a time of a lot of chaos and fear, Ayuda offers a measure of certainty and hope to large numbers of people. It makes Maryland and our whole region stronger. On behalf of my District and our people, I will continue to advocate a core value of American democracy—that no refugee or immigrant should be denied entry to the United States because of religion or nationality—and to stand with immigrants who make our communities and nation stronger,” says Congressman Raskin.

 Ayuda’s 44th Anniversary Event will take place at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in downtown Washington, D.C. from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. For more information, contact Sarah Block at (202) 387-4848 ext. 143 or at sarah@ayuda.com.

About Ayuda

Ayuda is a 501(c)(3) legal, social, and language access provider that helps vulnerable low-income immigrants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia stop abuses and improve their lives. With 44 years of experience and a highly motivated and skilled team, Ayuda secures justice and vital resources for immigrant individuals and families. As a national leader, Ayuda shares innovations that increase the capacity of providers and systems throughout the United States. Ayuda regularly fields inquiries from attorneys, advocates, and officials residing around the world who want to learn more about our relentless, dignified approach that helps immigrants save and rebuild their lives.

For Immediate Release
March 28, 2017

Beyond the Headlines: Ayuda Celebrates Immigrant Lives
Key Leaders to Support Immigrants

Washington, D.C. – Ayuda will commemorate its 44th anniversary on May 16, 2017 by celebrating inclusion, diversity, and the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia immigrant community. The event will take place at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in downtown Washington, D.C. from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Maryland State Delegate David Moon, D.C. Councilmembers David Grosso and Brianne Nadeau, and Takoma Park Councilmember Peter Kovar, among others, will be in attendance to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of immigrants in our community.
The event begins with A Conversation on Immigration moderated by C-SPAN’s Steve Scully. Confirmed panelists include: Paula Fitzgerald, executive director, Ayuda; Sandra Grossman, partner, Grossman Law, LLC; Lynden Melmed, partner, Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP; Julia Preston, former New York Times national immigration correspondent; Paul Wickham Schmidt, federal immigration court judge (retired); and J. Walter Tejada, former Arlington County Board chair.
“Every day, Ayuda stands with immigrants as they seek to exercise their rights and access justice. On the occasion of Ayuda’s 44th anniversary, we celebrate the lives of immigrants whose presence and many positive contributions make our region stronger,” says Paula Fitzgerald, executive director.

Ayuda will also honor Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP and the DC Bar Foundation for their exceptional commitment to furthering Ayuda’s mission.
For more information, contact Sarah Block at (202) 387-4848 ext. 143 or at sarah@ayuda.com.

About Ayuda
Ayuda is a 501(c)(3) legal, social, and language access provider that helps vulnerable low-income immigrants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia stop abuses and improve their lives. With 44 years of experience and a highly motivated and skilled team, Ayuda secures justice and vital resources for immigrant individuals and families. As a national leader, Ayuda shares innovations that increase the capacity of providers and systems throughout the United States. Ayuda regularly fields inquiries from attorneys, advocates, and officials residing around the world who want to learn more about our relentless, dignified approach that helps immigrants save and rebuild their lives.

Washington, D.C., September 29, 2016 – Ayuda hosted its Welcome Breakfast on September 21 as its preeminent outreach program to community partners, civic leaders, and philanthropists in the Washington region. Sponsored by AmeriHealth Caritas DC, the event included more than 200 guests. WAMU’s senior reporter, Armando Trull, served as master of ceremonies.

 Live and video testimonials by former Ayuda clients provided vivid and gripping narratives about the plight of refugees and low-income immigrants whom Ayuda serves. Moussa, from Senegal, spoke of his experience as a domestic violence survivor. Sandra, from El Salvador, narrated the challenges she faced in trying to enroll for college. Julius, from Rwanda, recounted post-genocide violence that wrought immense personal havoc – witnessing friends and family die, attempts on his own life and despairing for his wife and children. The audience was visibly moved by their stories, which mercifully had joyful endings with Ayuda’s help.

 “Your breakfast event was very moving. It’s good to be reminded of how others are suffering around the world and that we all have an opportunity to affect change,” remarked a guest.

Armando Trull added that the migrant crisis happening in D.C.’s backyard is “the second worse migrant crisis after the Syrian refugee crisis.” He described the tens of thousands of Central American immigrants that have fled their home country due to gang violence and impoverished living situations.

Paula Fitzgerald, executive director of Ayuda, spoke of critical unmet needs because of limited capacity. “Ayuda is able to accept approximately 25 client appointments a day, but turn away 40 more daily. This organization feels a moral responsibility to help those in need and not to turn them away.”

Ayuda thanks guests for volunteering to promote Ayuda, making generous donations, and offering to provide pro bono services to help Ayuda build additional opportunities to serve more.

The Welcome Breakfast also showcased a new Ayuda video and engaged guests in small group discussions. The event raised more $18,000 from individual donors. Ayuda extends its profound gratitude.

Click here for the Welcome Breakfast photo gallery

Click here for media coverage of the event

Paula Fitzgerald

News Release

20 July 2016

 

GROUNDBREAKING NEW INTERPRETER TRAINING CURRICULUM FOCUSES ON VICTIM SERVICES

Washington, D.C. – Ayuda’s Victim Services Interpreter Bank, in partnership with the District of Columbia’s Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG), announced today the release of a groundbreaking new curriculum for interpreters, which is valuable to both spoken language and sign language interpreters. The set of training materials, titled “Breaking Silence: Interpreting for Victim Services,” is now available to the public, for interpreter training sessions and self-study, and can be downloaded at http://ayuda.com/get-help/language-services/resources/

The training provided in “Breaking Silence” prepares interpreters to work in a specialized field: victim-centered, trauma-informed interpreting, such as interpreting for victims of violent crime, domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

The training manual, workbook of role plays and exercise, and glossary of victim service terminology released today are the culmination of more than two years of work, which included two pilot interpreter training sessions that trained over 50 local interpreters. The authors of the curriculum are nationally recognized experts in interpreter training, including Marjory Bancroft of Cross-Cultural Communications.

“There is a deep need for trauma-informed interpreters who do not undermine the survivor’s voice or take control, but instead allow the service provider and the survivor to communicate clearly and transparently,” said Ms. Bancroft. “This new curriculum will allow interpreters to learn how to properly assist these survivors.”

In developing this new training, the authors assessed the needs of the D.C. region’s victim service providers by conducting a focus group and 20 individual interviews with interpreters and representatives from the Victims Assistance Network. Although the curriculum incorporates the experiences and advice of Washington, D.C. practitioners, the majority of the content is applicable to victim services work in any city.

“Not only is the survivor of a violent crime carrying the weight of their experience but they are also confronting cultural, linguistic, and social barriers that all too often prevent survivors from seeking and receiving help,” said Carolina Herrera, Language Access Deputy Director of Ayuda. “The Victim Services Interpreter Bank project aims to remove the language barrier in order to enhance the safety and welfare for hundreds of crime victims every year.”

Today, there are more than 36,000 Limited English Proficient people residing in Washington, D.C., and there are more than 5,500 Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals in the city who may communicate using signed languages. This important new curriculum helps interpreters to better serve the needs of these growing populations.

“This critical resource will provide greater access to services while enhancing the safety of some of the most vulnerable victims of crime,” said Michelle M. Garcia, Director of the District of Columbia’s Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants. “The Breaking Silence curriculum will benefit not only providers and victims in the District, but all across the country.”

# # #

 Launched in November 2014, the Victim Services Interpreter Bank works to meet the language access needs of victim service providers in Washington, D.C. In addition to training qualified interpreters to work in the victim services field, the project also runs an interpreter service. Through the Bank, victim service providers may request an interpreter at all hours of the day and night, whether on an emergency basis or by scheduling appointments ahead of time. The Bank arranges for telephonic interpreters when in-person interpreters are not available. Translation services are also available, allowing providers to conduct outreach in various languages and to communicate with particular clients in the appropriate written languages. The benefits of the bank are free to victim services providers because of funding from OVSJG.

 Media Contacts

Carolina Herrera

Ayuda

Language Access Deputy Director

Washington, D.C.

Tel: +1 202 243 7315

Email: carolina@ayuda.org

 

Kelley Dillon

Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants

Washington, D.C.

Tel: +1 202 727 3934

Email: kelley.dillon@dc.gov

 

About Ayuda

Ayuda envisions a community where all immigrants overcome obstacles in order to succeed and thrive in the United States. We realize our vision by advocating for low-income immigrants through direct legal, social and language services; training; and outreach in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards represents Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, comprising portions of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties.  She was sworn in after a special election to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 110th Congress in June 2008, becoming the first African American woman to represent Maryland in Congress.

Congresswoman Edwards has enjoyed a diverse career as a nonprofit public interest advocate and in the private sector on NASA’s Spacelab project.  In 1994, as co-founder and executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, she led the effort to pass the Violence Against Women Act that was signed into law by President Clinton.

Since being sworn in, Congresswoman Edwards has secured a number of legislative accomplishments to improve the lives of working families in her Congressional District and around the country. Her first act as a Member of Congress was to add Maryland to the Afterschool Suppers Program, ensuring access to nutritional suppers to afterschool and youth development programs in schools located in low-income areas. During the health care debate, Congresswoman Edwards secured a provision that holds insurance companies accountable for unjustifiable rate increases.

Congresswoman Edwards’ legislative work continues to focus on creating jobs, growing the economy, and increasing opportunity for hardworking families.  She introduced legislation to expand research and development, domestic manufacturing, and infrastructure spending; increase high school graduation rates; renew Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals; reduce opioid overdose; and ensure quality, affordable child care.  She has championed efforts to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, defend women’s rights and expand economic opportunity for women, raise awareness of domestic violence, and get unlimited money out of politics.  She was the first Member of the House to introduce and champion a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Translate »