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Hispanic Federation Launches ‘Caminos de Esperanza’ Initiative To Help Tackle Immigration Case Backlog

Florida has more than 150,000 pending immigration court cases, according to TRAC. Image: TRAC / screenshot


The Hispanic Federation says it will help fund organizations across the country which are working on a backlog of immigration cases. 

Eleven organizations will each receive a $100,000 grant through the federation’s Caminos de Esperanza initiative. 

Melissa Marantes, the executive director of the Orlando Center for Justice, said the grant will help provide legal assistance to more than 100 families and individuals in Central Florida. 

“It’s going to be children that are in proceedings, families that are in proceedings, asylum seekers. It could even be victims of domestic violence that are in court in proceedings. There’s a variety of people, the focus being on those that are navigating the immigration court process.” 

Marantes said the money will also allow her organization to reach even more people who need help.

“We know that with the money, we can do even more. There are a ton of people that run into everyday questions when it comes to the immigration process: how to change your address, how to move your court [hearing], how do I apply assistance or what can I find, what’s available in the community. So this allows us to have a presence on a regular basis.”

According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) there are more than 1.4 million pending immigration cases across the US. 

More than 150,000 of those cases are in Florida. 


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »

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