As I reflect on 2017 thus far, one word comes immediately to mind: immigration. Last month marked my 29th year with MetroWest Legal Services and never in all that time can I recall such a heightened level of fear and uncertainty in the immigrant community. In addition to handling over 250 immigration cases last year, MWLS has stepped up to assist in every other way possible by providing information, advice and community education all across our service area. Whether it is performing skits and talking to kids at area high schools about what to do if approached by federal agents from ICE; educating teachers and parents about what to tell kids who are afraid that they are going to be taken away from their families; participating in community forums with other community partners to answer questions; or giving legal advice through immigration clinics at local houses of worship: MWLS has been there. This is only the beginning of what promises to be a long road ahead with much legal work to be done. I am so proud of our staff and their commitment to our immigrant communities. They are doing amazing work but we need your help.

How will the 80 children from the local high school who qualify for immigration relief obtain that relief without legal help? How will the increasing number of immigrants seeking asylum obtain that relief without legal help? How will the victims of crime eligible for legal status through the U-visa process obtain that relief without legal help?