Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Raquel Batista today announced the NYC Fall Citizenship Drive.
The drive provides naturalization eligibility screenings and free citizenship application assistance to immigrant New Yorkers.
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“New York is the ultimate city of immigrants,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We don’t take that distinction lightly. We work every day to ensure our immigrant communities have the tools, resources, and support they need to make our city and our nation their permanent home.”
“Helping immigrant New Yorkers thrive makes us stronger as a city,” said Raquel Batista, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “We are excited to collaborate with community organizations deeply rooted in our city’s hardest-to-reach immigrant communities to provide resources and support with the citizen application process.”
An estimated 589,000 immigrant New Yorkers are lawful permanent residents (i.e., green card holders) and currently eligible to naturalize. Of those, approximately 169,000 are low-income and limited English proficient. The Fall Citizenship Drive aims to reach this population through a series of events hosted by MOIA, CUNY Citizenship Now!, and select community-based organizations (CBOs).
The drive will feature two large-scale application assistance clinics run by CUNY Citizenship Now!, each aiming to serve 200-300 people. These large application assistance events will be held later this fall. The first will be on November 20, 2021, at MS 2 in Brooklyn, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and will mark the return of Citizenship Now! in-person events since March of 2020. The second event will be held in December, date and location to be announced in the coming weeks.
Additionally, from October through December 2021, the following select community-based organizations will provide community outreach, naturalization screenings, and citizenship application assistance to immigrant New Yorkers across all five boroughs.
- Arab American Association of New York – Brooklyn
- Haitian American United for Progress – Brooklyn & Queens
- Mexican Coalition for the Empowerment of Youth and Families – Brooklyn & The Bronx
- Dominicanos USA – Bronx/Upper Manhattan
- Sauti Yetu – Bronx & Staten Island
CUNY Citizenship Now!, the largest university legal assistance program in the U.S., will also provide technical assistance and capacity-building support to the community-based organizations providing services during the drive.
For information regarding CUNY Citizenship Now!’s large citizenship application assistance events, call 646-664-9400.To schedule an appointment with a participating community-based organization, you may visit them directly or call the ActionNYC Hotline at 1-800-354-0365 and say “Citizenship.”
“CUNY is pleased to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in this Fall Citizenship Initiative, providing New Yorkers with free, high-quality legal assistance, helping them take the final step in their long road to U.S. citizenship,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “Over more than 25 years, CUNY Citizenship Now! has helped more than 150,000 New Yorkers navigate the complicated path through the immigration labyrinth. Throughout the pandemic, Citizenship Now! has provided remote services to New York immigrants. We look forward to this return to in-person services aided by hundreds of volunteers from the CUNY/NYC Volunteer Corps.”
“Dominicanos USA is committed to the advancement of civic engagement in New York City’s immigrant community, with an emphasis on citizenship and voter registration. We acknowledge the importance of naturalization and the direct link to the right to vote. We enthusiastically extend our efforts in hosting community outreach events to provide eligibility screenings and free citizenship application assistance to immigrant New Yorkers in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. It is an honor to be an active partner in the NYC Fall Citizenship Drive and we thank the Mayor and the Office of Immigrant Affairs for their continuous support,” said Eddie Cuesta, Executive Director at DominicanosUSA (DUSA).”
“We are excited to collaborate with CUNY Citizenship Now and MOIA on assisting immigrants in the process of naturalization. Many of the immigrants in our community are always seeking immigration legal assistance and we are honored to have the opportunity to serve them,” said Arab American Association of New York.
“This past year has been full of turmoil for so many of our immigrant families who require much help and guidance. It is the responsibility of many to help our immigrant families, at the Mexican Coalition, we are excited that MOIA has taken the lead to bring us together so that many more New Yorkers are safer knowing their rights and accessing the service they urgently need. Collaboration is the backbone of service equity. Together we will make sure those who qualify for citizenship know they do and have the support to become US citizens,” said Jairo Guzman, President of Mexican Coalition for the Empowerment of Youth and Families, Inc.
“We are thrilled to join the Mayor’s Office in this initiative to help eligible immigrants pursue citizenship as it perfectly aligns with Sauti Yetu’s mission to empower the immigrant community, particularly African immigrant women and families. Many U.S. lawful permanent residents (LPRs) lack the knowledge, resources and assistance to apply for naturalization and we believe this collaboration with the Mayor’s Office will make such support and information more accessible to immigrants all over New York City,” said Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Families
NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
The NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) promotes the well-being of NYC’s immigrant communities by advocating for policies that increase justice, equity, and empowerment. MOIA leads, supports, and manages programs that help to successfully include immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic, and cultural life of the City. For more information on all MOIA services and the City’s many resources for immigrant New Yorkers, go to nyc.gov/immigrants; call the MOIA hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday or send an email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov; and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
CUNY Citizenship Now!
CUNY Citizenship Now! is the largest university legal assistance program in the United States, providing free and confidential citizenship and immigration law services since 1997. It is a project of the City University of New York, the nation’s largest urban public university. With more than 70 employees, six full-time centers and more than 45 part-time locations, we believe in empowering immigrants by putting them in control of their immigration case, a model of legal assistance called pro se. Through this model, our attorneys and paralegals help more than 12,000 individuals each year on the path to citizenship. In addition to our one-on-one services, our large group application processing events are nationally recognized for providing high-quality, free immigration assistance. We have shared our model with immigration-service organizations throughout the nation, serving thousands of immigrants who cannot afford to pay for private attorneys. We also work with our partners to offer Civics classes and workshops about immigrant rights, business creation, and finances. Annually, we hold more than 20 community-based events, plus dozens more seminars and classes.