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"Hudson Valley News Network" featured the Pace Immigration Law Society in "Bracco Receives Immigrant Advocate Award"


"Hudson Valley News Network" featured the Pace Immigration Law Society in "Bracco Receives Immigrant Advocate Award"

Carola Bracco, Executive Director of Neighbors Link, was honored by the Pace Immigration Law Society (PILS) at its Second Annual Persistence Dinner.

The organization started three years ago with the intention to provide education and outreach in the law school and in the local community.

The Persistence Dinner was held at Pace Law School recently in White Plains. It honors warriors in the immigration field who do not give up in the face of adversity while advocating for immigrant rights.

As executive director of Neighbors Link, Bracco played a vital role helping to craft legislation that became the Immigrant Protection Act (IPA). The act was vetoed by the former County Executive, Rob Astorino. The bill was reintroduced and signed into law by current County Executive George Latimer and is considered a model for New York State.  Through her leadership and work on the IPA, Bracco helped bring together the community of service and advocacy organizations that work with the immigrant population of Westchester.

Comprised of the 20 member coalition of organizations that worked together toward passage of the IPA, this committee will give Westchester its first cohesive working group to support immigration policy and services. Bracco currently serves on the boards of Northern Westchester Hospital, the National Council for Workforce Education, Nonprofit Westchester, and the New York Immigration Coalition. She is also a member of the New York State Taskforce for Agricultural Labor. Often quoted in the press, Bracco is highly sought after to speak at conferences and before legislative committees.

Emily Bendana, president of the Pace Immigration Law Society and Student Attorney with John Jay Legal Services, said of Bracco’s selection, “She is a leader we look up to and try to emulate. She is strong and shows perseverance in the face of adversity. She is an innovator. She is compassionate and passionate. She is all the things we strive to be. It was never a question that Carola needed to be the person PILS honored. Her name came up over and over again. I personally am from Passaic County, New Jersey. Westchester is not my backyard and PILS members don’t know everyone involved in Westchester, but we do know Carola. Her leadership reaches that far.”

Bendana went on to say, “Every hour we spend learning, practicing, advocating, and fighting is with the intention to someday be able to have the type of impact on the community and on individual lives that she and Neighbors Link have had.  We chose Carola because of her gifts of shrewd strategy, profound wisdom, prudent judgment, and the ability to create brilliant, patient, discerning teamwork.”

In her remarks, Bracco said, “I am grateful for this honor from the Pace Immigration Law Society because it sends a loud, clear message that this work is critical.  I represent a whole team of people that includes our exemplary legal team of Karin Anderson and Elizabeth Mastropolo, plus Neighbors Link staff and our supportive board of directors.  They have all put their hearts and souls into this work and have equally earned this award.”

Read the article.