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BP Stringer, CUNY, Announce New Immigration Project

BP Scott Stringer
by Maibe González-Fuentes

New Initiatives Seek to Promote Greater Access to Services for Immigrant Communities and Strengthen Civic Participation

Today, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer announced the creation of a new Citizenship Services Project as part of a collaboration with the City University of New York (CUNY) Citizenship and Immigration Project and the Borough President's Immigrant Rights Task Force. The announcement was made on the day after National Citizenship Day.

Borough President Stringer was joined by the Director of CUNY's Citizenship and Immigration Project Allan Wernick and leaders of Community Boards 2 Maria Derr and Community Board 3 Rocky Chin, of lower Manhattan, who are helping to promote the Citizenship Project and working with the Borough President to bring more immigrant representation to the boards.

Through the Citizenship Services Project, a professional immigration counselor will be stationed at the Borough President's Office one full day a week to provide free advice and assistance to individuals on naturalization and immigration applications and other important matters.

Starting October, Rafael Dominguez, will be available every Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. People can seek assistance by walking in to the Borough President's office at 1 Centre Street 19th Floor, or calling 212-669-3028. Language assistance will be available as needed. Dominguez is the outreach coordinator for the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project. He is certified in Immigration Law Studies and has been working with the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project since 2003.

The project serves people in the entire borough of Manhattan and extends CUNY's Citizenship and Immigration Project to lower Manhattan for the first time. CUNY's Citizenship and Immigration Project also has a location in northern Manhattan.

Borough President Stringer and CUNY also announced they will host two Citizenship Days in lower Manhattan and northern Manhattan on Saturday, October 21st and Saturday, October 28th. During these days, professional immigration counselors will be available to provide free immigration counseling and assistance with applications.

"We are working hard to ensure that Manhattan has the help and resources available to our rich immigrant community," Borough President Stringer said. "The Citizenship and Immigration Project is a quality program that moves us closer to ensuring all people living in this borough are able to navigate the system and have the assistance they need to succeed in this great city."

"This initiative provides a great opportunity for the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project to expand our efforts in serving Manhattan's immigrant community. We are happy to be partnering with the Borough President to make immigration assistance more accessible throughout the borough," director of CUNY's Citizenship and Immigration Project Allan Wernick said.

"Lower Manhattan is a historic immigrant community and as such we are thrilled to see these kinds of services coming into our neighborhoods. We thank Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for remaining committed to serving and acknowledging the importance of immigrants," member of Community Board 3 and activist Rocky Chin said.

"It is reassuring and admirable that the Borough President Stringer is committed to overcoming the challenges faced by our immigrant community. Steps like this will ease the problems for those in need of city services and are a tremendous boost for our community," Chair of Community Board 2 Maria Derr said.

The Citizenship and Immigration Project and the Citizenship Days are part of Borough President Stringer's agenda to promote greater access to services for immigrant communities and strengthen civic participation by immigrant communities. This year, the Borough President started the office's first Immigrant Rights Task Force which consists of immigrant community advocates, service providers, and community members from around the borough and city. A key goal of the Task Force is to increase immigrant civic participation particularly in local government such as Community Boards and Community Education Councils.

Maibe González-Fuentes is an aide to Mr. Stringer


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