A small bit of information about Organization
- Our primary service is Immigration advocacy and immigration related services.
- The provision of services is the gateway to this goal and the important first step in securing legal immigration status.
- In advancing our mission, individuals and families will have better and honest access to resources and opportunities that contribute to making the American Dream become a reality.
Organization was founded by Catholic Priest Rev. John J. Garkowski,
when he saw the need for free and low cost legal services. It was
during this time that Ronald Regan disapproved of the outcome from
the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. In 1987, Reagan used
his executive authority to legalize the status of minor children of
parents granted amnesty under the immigration overhaul, announcing a
blanket deferral of deportation for children under 18 who were
living in a two-parent household with both parents legalizing or
with a single parent who was legalizing.
That action affected an estimated 100,000 families. Three million people were saved from deportation due to his executive authority. "I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally," Regan said.
Rev. John’s help to the immigrant community began during the amnesty program in the early 1980’s at St. Bartholomew Church, Elmhurst, New York. Rev. John J. Garkowski was also serving his priest-hood at the same location. The community he served were from Jackson Heights/ Elmhurst, Queens and the immigrant groups included Latinos from Mexico, Central and South America, Asians from China, South Koreans, East Asians from India and Bangladesh.
His work made him split his time between two offices, one in the mid 90’s to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in South Ozone Park, NY. (where he resided), and at CMSQ in Elmhurst Queens,when he was transferred to serve concurrently at this new church. This is when the name of Our Lady’s Center for Immigrants’ name was created. Rev. John J. Garkowski is not associated with the Catholic Migration Office nor Catholic Charities.
Business hours are Monday through Friday
10am - 6pm and Saturday 9am - 1pm by appointment.
We have an Attorney and staff members who have many years of relevant experience as well as the technical legal support of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) to assist you with your, Immigration needs. Our goal is for our soon to be accredited representatives to represent individuals before Immigration Officers and or Judges in order to help our community with honest and affordable legal representation.
Our vision for the future is to increase
our organizational capacity through grant writing and partnerships
with other businesses to expand our services/programs to the wider
New York City Metropolitan area and provide in the near future
Citizenship and ESL classes.
- About our Staff
Chief Compliance Officer
Chief Grant Writer
Chief Information Technology Technician