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Jeremy Roose, rural capacity building attorney for Immigrant Legal Center, began providing immigration legal services at Centro Hispano in April. 

COLUMBUS – Centro Hispano recently expanded its immigration services with the addition of Jeremy Roose, rural capacity building attorney from Immigrant Legal Center, on its legal team.

“A lot of what we do for individuals here is to help them secure their status but also to unify them with their families,” Roose said.

Immigration cases are uniquely different but the ultimate goal is to unite families, he said.

Heartland Workers Center, Immigrant Legal Center, Centro Hispano and Nebraska Appleseed teamed up with Justice For Our Neighbors Nebraska to be a part of the Rural Community Inclusion Project. The project works toward supplying immigration services in different rural communities in Nebraska.

Roose said each community has a different need so he is working on building up his understanding of the area to further tailor the services available. He said Columbus has a robust manufacturing industry, which drives the immigrant population.

Roose offers advice on immigration relief, as well as represent clients at the Department of Homeland Security and immigration court. He is currently working on his Nebraska license to represent clients at state courts, which is necessary for divorce, paternity and protection orders. In the meantime, there are other attorneys available from Immigrant Legal Center to service clients at state courts.

Roose is working closely with the existing paralegals at Centro Hispano. He is available every Mondays and Wednesdays.

Roose received his license in 2012 and started practicing law in Portland. He speaks basic Spanish and is proficient in Swahili.

“I started my own practice and I was able to experiment with different areas of law. I did family law, bankruptcy, immigration and I’ve always had a tie with immigration through my family,” he said. “Immigration is the most rewarding because, at the end of the day, everyone is better off.”

Roose has seen divorce cases that ruined the lives of not only the parents but also their children.

“Everybody just feels horrible,” he said.

Roose said he doesn’t have to worry about the security of his family when practicing immigration laws.

“My family is the most important thing there is and I know that’s for everybody,” he said. “So if I can help other people to have that security with their families, I have to do that.”

Throughout Roose’s career, he served clients who lost loved ones or had to flee their own country for safety. These cases only fueled his drive toward his goals to help the immigrant population.

Even as a professional, Roose finds the U.S. immigration systems difficult and complicated. He said the process becomes more of an obstacle for people who can’t speak English.

“I think immigrants need as much help as possible because their families are the most important thing and also to provide for their families,” he said.

Since his arrival in Columbus, Roose was amazed by the community and is excited to continue his practice.

“The team here is fantastic and I think there is already a lot of great things happening here and I am excited to be a part those,” he said.

For people who are looking for legal assistance, Roose advises them to seek help at the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline (NILAH), which is 1 (855) 307-6730. The hotline is run by paralegals fluent in English and Spanish, as well as 50 other language lines. To determine what immigration benefits they qualify for, applicants will be screened.

From there, immigration organizations such as Centro Hispano, Center for Legal Immigration Assistance and Catholic Charities proceed with the qualified cases.

“It’s a robust partnership,” Roose said.

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