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Programs & Exhibitions

Legal Services              Refugee Resettlement             Other Resources

Legal Services

Hartford Public Library (HPL) is recognized by the US Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to offer legal advice.

Only Attorneys or BIA Accredited Representatives can provide legal advice. Notary publics, businesses, immigration consultants are NOTable to give immigration legal advice. THE WRONG HELP CAN HURT!

BIA Accredited Library Staff:   

  • Maryanne Daly Doran, JD, Immigration Legal Services Manager; BIA Accredited Representative
  • Denise Torres, MAT, BIA Accredited Representative

Scope of Library Service: 

FREE: Citizenship Preperation Services HPL has been awarded grant funds from U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to offer FREE professional legal counseling and classes for legal permanent residents preparing for U.S. Citizenship. Free lservices include: photographs, photocopies, postage, mailing, follow-up on applicants N-400 submission, and representation at applicant’s interview. 

NOTE: You may be eligible to waive the fees associated with applying for Citizenship. To schedule an appointment visit us in person at the Downtown Library (500 Main St.) days, evenings, and Saturdays; special arrangements are made for the homebound.
Fee based services
I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card $25.00
I-131, Application for Travel Document S25.00
N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship $50.00
Translation of documents (limited languages) $20.00 a page

Only BIA Accredited library staff are authorized to provide legal advice. Customers wishing to fill out online forms themselves are advised to READ ME FIRST  



United States Citizenship and Immigration ServicesServio de Cuidandania e Immigracion de Estados Unidos (USCIS) is the primary website for immigration information. If you need assistance navigating this site please contact a library staff member. 

Schedule a free appointment to visit a local USCIS office and get answers on your case.

Appointments for CT residents are scheduled at:
USCIS Hartford Field Office
450 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103
Phone (800) 375-5283, TDD/Text (800) 767-1833.
Hours of Operation: 7:30am to 3:00pm Monday - Friday (with the exception of the 3rd Friday of each month when the office is closed to the public). 

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Refugee Resettlement and Background Information  

The Cultural Orientation Resource Center (COR)
 provides many important orientation resources for refugee newcomers and service providers, including, lesson plans, educational tools, multimedia recordings, and numerous publications providing key information about various refugee populations. These publications include a population's history, culture, religion, language, education, resettlement needs, and demographic information. Following are some examples:  

Office of United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Primary purpose safeguarding the rights and well-being of refugees.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Refugee Settlement  (ORR) Oversees federally funded refugee resettlement programs in the US.

U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) Promotes United States’ population and migration policies. This site offers important updated statistical data about immigrants and refugees as well as information about humanitarian efforts to provide aid to immigrants and refugees worldwide. 

The data below represents Hartford's recent refugee arrivals

Connecticut Refugee Resettlement Services

Connecticut State Refugee Coordinator
Department of Social Services
David Frascarelli
25 Sigourney Street, Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 424-4387 email:

State Refugee Health Coordinator: Alison Stratton  
State Analyst: Bill McPherrin

Catholic Charities Migration & Refugee Services
125 Market Street, Hartford, CT 06103
(860) 548-0059  
Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services
235 Nicoll Street, New Haven, CT 06511
International Institute of Connecticut
670 Clinton Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06605-1704
(203) 336-0141

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Recommended Readings:

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishamael Beah
This memoir of a young man who at the age of 12 was swept up in Sierra Leone's civil war provides a firsthand account of the ongoing plight of child soldiers in conflicts worldwide.

The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Communitby Mary Pipher
Reveals the trials and errors, hopes and dreams, joys and frustrations of refugees from around the world.

Outcasts United: an American Town, a Refugee Team. and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John
This inspirational story tells about an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston, Georgia's refugee children and keep them off the streets.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
This story explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy.

Recommended Films:

Blood Diamond (2007 Feature Film,143 min.) Amid the explosive civil war overtaking 1999 Sierra Leone, an ex-mercenary turned smuggler and a Mende fisherman join for two desperate missions: to recover a rare pink diamond and rescue the fisherman's son who was concripted as a child soldier into the brutal rebel forces. 

God Grew Tired of Us (2007 Documentary, 90 min.) Explores the indomitable spirit of three "Lost Boys" from the Sudan who are forced to leave their homeland due to a tumultuous civil war. 

Hotel Rwanda (2005 Feature Film, 122 min.) Paul Ruseasabagina, a Rwandan hotel manager, risks his own life to arrange shelter for over one thousand people seeking refuge from the violence of the 1994 Rwandan civial war. Based on actual events.

The Killing Fields (1984 Feature film, 142 min.) Dith Pran is an aid, translator and friend of two journalists who are covering the war in Cambodia. He is eventually exiled to the labor camps in Cambodia's countryside, where he endures four years of starvation, torture and war before escaping to Thailand. 

The Letter, an American Town, and the Somali (2003 Documentary, 76 min.) Neo-Nazi outsiders barnstorm the town of Lewiston, Maine to exploit local hatred. 

The Lost Boys of Sudan (2004 Documentary, 87 min.) The journey of two Sudanese teenage refugee boys who resettle in America. 

Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008 Documentary, 72 min.) Chronicles the courageous Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their country.

Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire (2005 Documentary, 90 min.) General Romeo Dallaire was the commander of the UN peacekeeping troops in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide which claimed 800,000 lives. This film follows Dallaire back to Rwanda ten years after the massacre in order for him to come to terms with the atrocities he witnessed there. 

Other Resources

Humanitarian Benefits (Refugees, Asylum, DACA...)
Immigrant Rights
Immigration Statistics  
Migration Policy Institute 
National Partnership for New Americans 
Immigration Learning Center  
U.S. Immigration History  
U.S. Department of State (U.S. Passport, Visa Lottery)


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