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Catholic Charities N.H. Awarded $350,000 to Protect Immigrant Victims of Crime


  Catholic Charities New Hampshire will receive more than $350,000 in grant funding to protect immigrant victims of crime.


The money comes from the federal Victims of Crime Act and was allocated through the New Hampshire Department of Justice.


Cathy Chesley is director of immigration legal services for Catholic Charities. She said the money will allow her organization to continue to support immigrant families who may fear deportation and not seek out help.


Chesley imagined a situation in which assistance from Catholic Charities would be crucial in a case of immigrant victims of crime.


“Maybe they’re married to an American,” Chesley said. “[An American] could say, ‘Hey, I’ve got your papers, I’m going to report you to ICE if you say anything about the fact that I’m hurting you.’”


The grants will allow Catholic Charities to assist immigrant victims of crime with legal services, safety planning, mental health assessments and other support.


"When someone who's been victimized can live independent of the violence, children are safer, they do better in school, families are more independent, they're healthier and they can move on in their lives," Chesley said.


According to Chesley, Catholic Charities sees about 60 cases involving immigrant victims of crime each year.

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