Msgr. Kevin Sullivan joined Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, members of the New York State legislature and fellow members of the New York Immigration Coalition in Albany yesterday, March 18, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Office for New Americans. A groundbreaking event, the anniversary marks the first time a statewide office has focused solely on assisting our state’s immigrants in their efforts to contribute to the economy and become a part of the family of New York.
The Office’s cornerstone includes a network of 27 neighborhood-based Opportunity Centers hosted within existing community-based organizations throughout the State. The Centers help New Americans learn English, prepare them for the U.S. citizenship exam and help them start and grow businesses so they can fully participate in New York State’s civic and economic life.
Nearly a quarter of these centers are affiliated with Catholic Charities, demonstrating the emphasis and value we place on assisting new New Yorkers to integrate and participate in our state’s civic and economic life.
Msgr. Sullivan joined with fellow community leaders and elected officials to outline the Opportunity Centers’ major accomplishments as well as possibilities for expansion to support economic growth.
“Fostering economic development and allowing immigrants to become fully integrated are important outcomes that the New American Centers allow our new neighbors to achieve,” he said.
Statistics demonstrate their success. New York’s 4.3 million immigrants make up more than a quarter of New York’s total work force, reported Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, and account for $229 billion in economic output. It is estimated that each eligible foreign-born New Yorker increases their individual income by up to $3,800 when they naturalize. Furthermore, if all eligible foreign-born New Yorkers naturalized, their collective earnings in New York would increase by $1.5 to $2.2 billion.
“Immigrants are an incredible gift to any country and their industriousness teaches the rest of us that even we can strive for greater heights,” Msgr. Sullivan added. “New York is so blessed to be the home and the gateway for those who have made our state a much richer place.”
The Office for New Americans also supports the New York State New Americans Hotline, the toll-free, multi-lingual information center run by Catholic Charities.
Are you a New American looking for help…
- Finding English-for-Speakers-of-other-Languages (ESOL) training?
- Preparing for the naturalization process?
- Connecting to business resources to harness your entrepreneurial spirit?
- Developing and leveraging your professional skills?
- Receiving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?
- Strengthening the connections with your community?
- Avoiding exploitation?
Call our New Americans Hotline at 800-566-7636