Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Advancing Justice-LA Launches Hindi Line, Expanding Services to South Asian Community

LOS ANGELES, CA -- This morning, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) launched its inaugural Hindi helpline with the support of the Democracy Fund and the New Americans Campaign. This new helpline will support naturalization and immigration services to the South Asian community.  
The Hindi helpline, which is part of Advancing Justice-LA’s Asian Language Legal Intake Project (ALLIP), will allow Hindi-speaking individuals seeking assistance to speak with Advancing Justice-LA community advocates in their native language. Callers will also be able to receive assistance in Urdu.  
“Many immigrant communities, particularly Asian communities, face language barriers, which continue to impact their ability to access critical services such as citizenship, health care, social services, and the judicial system,” said Reshma Shamasunder, Vice President of Program Strategy at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles.  
ALLIP started in 2002 and consists of toll-free helplines in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, and English. The helplines prioritize assistance to low-income community members in the following areas: domestic violence and family law, employment, citizenship, and immigration. The addition of the Hindi helpline reflects Advancing Justice-LA’s commitment to serving the nation’s rapidly growing Asian American and Pacific Islander community.  
The new helpline is a national line that will support South Asian-serving organizations across the country by connecting communities to local resources such as South Asian Helpline and Referral Agency (SAHARA) and South Asian Network (SAN), two prominent South-Asian serving organizations in Artesia who are close partners of Advancing Justice-LA and will benefit from this increased capacity to serve the South Asian community.  
“SAN has been a tremendous resource for the South Asian community in Southern California for almost thirty years,” said Saima Hussain, deputy director of South Asian Network. “We have been long-time partners with Advancing Justice-LA and we welcome the launch of the Hindi intake line as an added resource for our community and look forward to continuing to collaborate with Advancing Justice-LA to meet the legal needs of our growing community.”  
As of 2014, lawful permanent residents from India are the fourth largest population of immigrants eligible to naturalize in the country with 560,000 who are eligible. There are another 140,000 lawful permanent residents from Pakistan who are eligible. South Asian populations comprise almost 1 million of the 8.8 million residents eligible to become U.S. citizens.  
The new line will be staffed by Farhana Shahid who will provide referral services, basic information, and help triage callers to Advancing Justice-LA’s legal services. Shahid has worked with the South Asian community for over 14 years.  
“As a community legal advocate, my aim is to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of the South Asian community,” said Shahid. “I want to help the community feel empowered and heard.”  
 As a member of the national New Americans Campaign, Advancing Justice works closely with the following South Asian-serving organizations: Chhaya CDC in New York, South Asian American Voices for Impact (SAAVI) in Detroit, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta, and International Institute of Minnesota in St. Paul. South Asian-serving organizations across the United States can now access a central helpline for appropriate referrals for individuals who need citizenship assistance. 
The toll-free Hindi helpline is 855-971-2552. The helpline is generally staffed from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Callers will be able to reach helpline staff or to leave a voicemail message. When they are unable to speak with a live helpline staff member, callers are encouraged to leave a voicemail message including their name and contact information for prompt follow-up. Voicemail messages are typically returned within one business day.
Jessica Jinn, (213) 241-8817, [email protected]
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles is the nation's largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice-LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.
Friday, June 22, 2018
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Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

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