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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 356-11
October 7, 2011

MAYOR BLOOMBERG, IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER SHAMA AND CITYWIDE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES COMMISSIONER HANDY LAUNCH NYCITIZENSHIP

City Agencies, CUNY Citizenship Now! and The Legal Aid Society join to help qualified City employees and their families apply for U.S. Citizenship

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Fatima Shama and Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Edna Handy today announced they are teaming up with CUNY Citizenship Now, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, NYC Service and the Legal Aid Society to launch the NYCitizenship Initiative, a free service for eligible City employees and members of their family who are seeking to apply for U.S. citizenship. NYCitizenship will provide free immigration information and assistance to eligible City employees and members of their family who are lawful permanent residents and seeking information on the application process to become U.S. citizens. Experienced volunteer lawyers will be on hand to provide no-cost legal information and assistance to help individuals navigate through the naturalization process. Individuals will be invited to a special swearing-in ceremony upon successful completion of the naturalization process. Mayor Bloomberg announced this initiative on his weekly radio show “The John Gambling Show with Mayor Mike” on WOR AM 710 this morning.

“Our City’s workforce is made up of many talented immigrants who came to this country in search of opportunities and a better life for their families,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Lengthy government applications can seem daunting so we want to help all city employees who are ready to become naturalized citizens. Thanks to our partners offering this free and voluntary service, we can help more New Yorkers realize their American dreams and fully participate in our country’s democratic process.”

“The NYCitizenship initiative will help support our City’s immigrant workforce by connecting eligible lawful permanent residents to the information and services they need to successfully pursue citizenship,” said Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Fatima Shama. “There are so many benefits to becoming a naturalized citizen, so if you are an eligible city employee and are looking to start the process – we can help.”

“DCAS is pleased to work with Commissioner Shama on supporting this important initiative,” said Commissioner Wells-Handy.  “We are always aiming to deliver services better, faster, cheaper and greener.”

“Making New York City a place of inclusion that embraces those who are a committed to making our City vibrant is a Mayoral priority,” said Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford. “NYC Service is committed to engaging New Yorkers to help accomplish this task and strengthen our communities.”

“CUNY is very pleased to partner with the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs and the Legal Aid Society to provide free citizenship assistance to New York City employees,” said CUNY Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson. “This public service partnership will help the workforce navigate a frequently daunting maze of federal regulations so they may more fully realize their hopes and dreams.”

“Our goal is to provide top quality legal assistance at no cost to city employees,” said Allan Wernick, Director of CUNY Citizenship Now! “It is our way of saying "thank you" to New York City’s civil servants.”

“The Legal Aid Society is proud to be part of this unique collaboration to provide critical application assistance and representation to New York City employees and their families,” said Steve Banks, Attorney-in-Chief.  “This initiative will no doubt have a positive impact on immigrant families and New York City communities and further demonstrate NYC’s continued commitment to its vibrant immigrant residents.”

The first informational session will take place on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at the Surrogates Court. To register, visit MOIA’s website at www.nyc.gov/immigrants by October 14th. To learn more about how to register, you can call 311.

What to Bring:

  • Green Card
  • List of home addresses and dates from past five years
  • List of employers (names and addresses) and dates worked from past five years
  • Dates and itineraries of trips outside of U.S. since becoming a permanent resident
  • Children's complete names, birthdates, and A#'s, if applicable
  • Marriage certificates and divorce judgments
  • If you have ever been arrested, cited or detained, or if you appeared in court for any reason, before or after you obtained your green card, bring ALL certified court and police documents






MEDIA CONTACT:


Evelyn Erskine   (Immigrant Affairs)
(212) 788-2958

Julianne Cho   (Citywide Administrative Services)
(212) 386-0238



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