Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani


Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, December 8, 1996

Good morning. On Tuesday of last week, I was joined by Councilmembers Una Clarke and Lloyd Henry, Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jose Maldonado and Bianca Jagger for a press conference to help publicize the Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery.

The annual visa lottery is a federal program that is designed to help immigrants obtain legal resident status in the United States. And participation in the lottery can be a first step on the road to becoming an American citizen.

To register for the lottery an application must be mailed between February 3rd and March 5th.

Another purpose of the press conference was to warn recent immigrants about the pitfalls of the immigration process. Too often, immigrants come to our city so full of hope and the desire to build a new and better life that they become easy targets for fraudulent and unscrupulous con-artists.

These individuals charge a fee and offer to facilitate the immigration process with their so called expertise, but they provide little, or no help in return for the money they take from these immigrants.

If anyone knows about, or has been the victim of this type of fraud, please contact the Department of Consumer Affairs immediately. Consumer Affairs can help bring the perpetrator to justice, and ensure that no one else is made a victim of this kind of fraud.

For details on how to apply for the visa lottery, on how to report fraudulent immigration expertise, on how to obtain our free brochures, or for any other immigration issues, please call the New York Immigration Hotline at 718-899-4000.

You know, throughout American history immigration has been the key to the success of the United States, and the key to the success of the City of New York. And the anti-immigrant agenda that has recently become prevalent in much of our nation is punitive and short-sighted, using hard-working immigrants as scapegoats for sometimes national problems that they don't contribute to and have little to do with.

Immigrants pay taxes at the same rate as American-born citizens and now, the United States is planning to deny them benefits if they experience hard times. This is clearly unfair, and possibly unconstitutional. The city has filed one lawsuit challenging some of these measures and is preparing to continue to do that and join all of those groups that are trying to deal with turning around this anti-immigration tide that's going on in some of the rest of the country.

From the Russians in Brighton Beach to the West Indians in Crown heights to the Dominicans in Washington Heights, to the relatively recent Irish immigration that is reviving Woodlawn in the Bronx. In all of these communities and more, the hard working immigrants of this city who continue to come here have helped to rebuild, rejuvenate and reinvigorate communities throughout the City of New York.

I urge all New Yorkers to work in support of our city's proud tradition of inclusiveness and tolerance. A tradition that has helped to make New York the most successful, and most prosperous city in the nation.

And once again, for information on the visa lottery, or on any immigration issue, please call the New York Immigration Hotline at 718-899-4000.

To all New Yorkers celebrating Hanukkah. Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays. Please enjoy this wonderful and joyous season.

From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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