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County Executive Announces New Director of the Regional Immigration Assistance Center

Evelyn A. Kinnah, Esq. is the new Director of the Albany County Immigration Assistance Center

Post Date:01/28/2020 11:21 am
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today announced that he has appointed Evelyn A. Kinnah, Esq. as the new Director of the Albany County Immigration Assistance Center, which serves a fourteen-county region. Having been born in Ghana and raised in Liberia, Kinnah is the first woman and the first person of color to hold this position. 

“Our Immigration Center, the first of its kind in the state, provides expert legal advice and resources to noncitizens that could ultimately determine their future in this country,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “Evelyn and her family escaped the extremely violent Liberian civil war with just the clothes on their backs. Her impressive experience as an attorney, passion to help others and her own pursuit of the American Dream make her the perfect choice for this leadership role to help others do the same.”

 “Without fail, I see myself in almost every noncitizen case that I work on. I go home every night knowing full well that ‘there but for the grace of God go I,’” said Ms. Kinnah. “As Deputy Director of the Immigration Center, I have been proud to help ensure there is equity for immigrants in both the justice system and society. I want to thank County Executive McCoy for giving me the opportunity to do even more good as Director.”

Kinnah immigrated to the United States in January of 1994. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Journalism and Mass Communications from St. Bonaventure University. She also earned a JD from Cornell Law School and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Cornell Institute of Public Affairs at Cornell University. 

 Throughout her career, Kinnah has gained legal experience at many different levels of government. She was previously an Associate Counsel for the New York State Assembly Majority Leader, as well as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Schenectady. Most recently as an Albany County official, she has served as the Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, an Assistant Deputy County Attorney, and as Deputy Director of the Immigration Assistance Center. Kinnah currently lives in Delmar with her four children.

 The Center provides support, training, written resources, and legal advice to court-appointed defense attorneys throughout the Capital District and Northern New York on the potential immigration consequences of criminal charges, convictions, and/or plea agreements and sentencing dispositions, appellate and post-conviction relief options, as well as Family Court matters. 

The Center is also an excellent resource for noncitizens living in Albany County who are in need of assistance with other immigration-related issues as well as translation services. In July of last year, County Executive McCoy launched a new webpage dedicated to helping immigrants know their rights, be prepared for any impending ICE raids and an Immigration Helpline at 1 (833) 373-2677.
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