Posts Tagged ‘New York State New Americans Hotline’

Catholic Charities Partners with State Leaders to Fight Immigration Fraud

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Watch this slide show of the event.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Monsignor Kevin Sullivan joined New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. and others to showcase a comprehensive initiative launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to protect immigrants from fraud and exploitation on September 18, 2014 at the headquarters of Catholic Charities’ Division of Immigration and Refugee Services in Lower Manhattan.

Con artists posing as immigration attorneys or authorized immigration representatives victimize thousands of New Yorkers in our state each year by charging fees for immigration assistance services that are never provided. Commonly recognized forms of immigration scams include: false promises of permanent U.S. residency and citizenship; preparation of applications for immigration benefits by unqualified individuals or those engaged in the unauthorized practice of law; sale of immigration forms that are available for free; false impersonation of immigration officials; and unwarranted threats of deportation. At times, victims are so negatively impacted by these scammers that they permanently lose out on important immigration opportunities.

Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation to better protect immigrants living in New York from potential fraud or wrongdoing as they seek immigration-related assistance.

This comprehensive effort to fight immigrant fraud includes:

  • Launching a multilingual public service campaign warning immigrants against fraud
  • Signing legislation making it a felony to commit immigrant assistance services fraud 
  • Expanding the New York State New Americans Hotline (800-566-7636) operated by Catholic Charities to serve as a resource to coordinate immigration assistance fraud complaints, as well as offer service referrals
  • Helping local immigrant-serving not-for-profit agencies become federally accredited to provide certain immigration services by expanding free immigration law training
  • Strengthening enforcement against the unauthorized practice of immigration law by enhancing coordination between the Attorney General, District Attorneys’ offices, local government consumer affairs departments and federal agencies through complaint referrals

“Catholic Charities has long welcomed and protected the newcomer,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York. “Through the New Americans Hotline, we continue to provide timely information and referrals for those needing a range of help: legal representation, family reunification and unfortunately, protection from exploitation.  This new law provides an enhanced opportunity for Catholic Charities in partnership with New York State to protect immigrants – always with dignity and compassion.”

Read more in the Village Voice.

 

Child Migrants in NY Find Harrowing Journeys Continue

Friday, July 4th, 2014

The Department of Homeland Security reports that an estimated 47,000 unaccompanied children, some as young as seven, entered the United States illegally from the southwestern border region from October 2013 through the end of May 2014. That represents a greater than 100 percent increase over the entire previous year. Most of those kids were hoping to reunite with their parents in the U.S. while fleeing the epidemic of gang violence and civil unrest in Central America and Mexico. Many reported being assaulted or raped on their journey north.

Once these kids arrive in the United States, their psychological, emotional and physical wounds can be severe, said Mario Russell of Catholic Charities, which helps run a one-stop clinic that includes group therapy.

“Ten or 12 boys will get in a room together and they will talk about their experiences. And it’s amazing to see how they are finding solidarity, comfort, understanding and sense of peace. They get medical screening. They get dental assistance. They get food. They get this kind of totality of services. We keep them in the game,” said Russell.

Read the full story in Voice of America (VOA) News.

Do you or someone you know need immigration help?

Call the Catholic Charities–managed New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.

Click here for more information.

Homeland Security Announces Big Opportunity for Undocumented Immigrant Youth

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Deferred Action Intake Session-48_editThe Secretary of Homeland Security recently announced that undocumented immigrant youth who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status (DACA) can renew that status for another  two years.

For the past two years, immigrant youth who met specific criteria* including coming to the United States before age 16 and residing continuously in the US since June 15, 2007 have been eligible for DACA status. This allowed them to receive work permits for two years, as well as driver licenses and social security numbers. In some states, they would also be eligible for in-state tuition.

The big news is that those who have already been granted DACA can now apply to extend their DACA status and work permits for an additional two years. Those who qualify but have never applied for DACA before, can continue to apply on a rolling basis. There is no deadline for initial applications.

Sounds complicated?  Call the Catholic Charities–managed New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 for more information and referral to an agency that can help.

Here at Catholic Charities we are prepared to help with the renewal process as well as with enrolling first-time applicants.

 

Contact us to:

  • Avoid scams.
  • Understand eligibility.
  • Obtain correct information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

*Click here to learn more about DACA eligibility.

“It is crucial to get the correct information about DACA and the renewal or initial application process and, for those who need legal assistance, to obtain referrals to reliable not-for-profit programs that provide free services,” said Raluca Oncioiu, director of Immigration Legal Services for Catholic Charities Community Services.

Catholic Charities Joins Fellow Immigration Leaders for Day of Action in Albany

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

SJ Jung, board president of MinKwon Center for Community Action, speaks about need for increased funding for immigrant services. Left to right: Assemblyman Ron Kim; Claire Sylvan, president of the Internationals Network For Public Schools; Judy Wessler, Health Care Advocate, former director, CPHS; SJ Jung, president of Minkwon Center for Community Action; and Mario Russell, senior attorney for Catholic Charities, New York.

Catholic Charities joined 250 immigrants, community leaders, elected officials, and advocates in Albany earlier this month for the New York Immigration Coalition’s 17th Annual Albany Immigrants’ Day of Action. Delegation members including families, farm workers and “DREAMers” shared with nearly three dozen state legislators their experiences on issues faced by the four million immigrant New Yorkers.

The event offered an opportunity for one-on-one conversations about the value of the New York State DREAM Act – which was defeated in the New York State Senate by two votes on Monday, thus likely put on hold, at least for this year – and the need for increased funding for legal and social services for immigrants. Together the group presented NYIC’s Immigrant Equality Agenda.

Assembly members Marcos CrespoRon KimFrancisco P. MoyaFélix Ortiz, Luis Sepulveda and Senator José Peralta supported the group and joined a series of panel discussions on the priorities laid out by local communities.

Do you need immigration or resettlement assistance, hope to go to college, or have been defrauded by an immigration practitioner?

Call our New York State New Americans Hotline  at 800-566-7636.

Cardinal Dolan and State’s Catholic Bishops Support DREAM Act for College Kids

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS Timothy Cardinal Dolan (right) supports creating a state DREAM Act that will allowing state financial aid to go to college kids of undocumented immigrants. Here, Dolan with Mayor de Blasio.

ALBANY — Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the state’s Catholic bishops have come out strongly in favor of creating a state DREAM Act allowing state financial aid to go to the college kids of undocumented immigrants, reports the New York Daily News on February 10.*

“It’s one of our top priorities this year,” state Catholic Conference spokesman Dennis Poust said.

The Catholic Conference, a strong advocate for national immigration reform, views the DREAM Act legislation sponsored by Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) and Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Queens) as something the state can do in the interim.

“New York State, with its history of welcoming immigrants, should be at the forefront of these efforts to support immigrant populations who have contributed so much to the vitality of our state,” the conference said in a memo supporting the bill.

The state Assembly passed the measure last year and is expected to do so again soon. The Republicans who help control the Senate oppose the measure. And there are questions whether there is enough support in an election year for passage, even if the measure did make it to the Senate floor.

Do you need immigration or resettlement assistance, do you hope to go to college, have you been defrauded by an immigration practitioner?

Or do you need any other type of immigration help such as

  • Reuniting with your family
  • Obtaining proper work authorization
  • Learning English and civics
  • Preparing for citizenship exams.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline  at 800-566-7636.

Manned by Catholic Charities staff,

  • We fielded more than 25,000 calls each year
  • We make over 42,000 referrals to not-for-profit service providers
  • We answer calls in over 100 languages

Click here for more information.

*Read the full story in The New York Daily News.

New York State Office for New Americans Touts Free Immigrant Assistance and Referral Hotline

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The New York State New Americans Hotline –1-800-566-7636 – provides general information and referrals on immigration and naturalization questions in more than 200 languages; also helps combat fraud against immigrants.

ALBANY – The New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) announced that its New York State New Americans Hotline (800-566-7636) has fielded more than 25,000 calls from immigrants and made more than 42,000 referrals to not-for-profit service providers in response to requests for assistance in 2013.  ONA was launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo in March as the first statewide office dedicated to helping our state’s immigrants contribute to our economy and become part of the family of New York.

Detailed data about the hotline will be released in the winter of 2014.

The New York State New Americans Hotline is a multi-lingual information center providing live assistance on general questions about immigration and naturalization. The hotline provides assistance in more than 200 languages, including Spanish, French, Haitian-Creole, Arabic and Chinese. The hotline operates from 9AM to 8PM (ET), Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays), and offers referrals to ONA Opportunity Centers and information on all New York State programs serving refugees and immigrants, other immigrant-related public and private programs, and not-for-profit immigrant service providers throughout the state.

“We are pleased that the New York State New Americans Hotline is helping so many immigrants as they transition to fully participating in New York State’s civic and economic life,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, who oversees ONA for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “The hotline is an important source of information for immigrants and others who seek immigration and naturalization assistance. It also refers New Americans to their nearest ONA Opportunity Center, where they can meet with a staff member to begin the process of learning English, becoming naturalized or starting a new business.”

Raluca Oncioiu, Director of the New York State New Americans Hotline at Catholic Charities Community Services added: “The hotline has an important role to play in educating immigrants about their rights and referring them to reliable service providers in order to prevent anti-immigrant fraud. In particular, the hotline is always ready to educate the public about new programs, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals announced in the summer of 2012, when hotline counselors fielded thousands of calls and made appropriate referrals to agencies providing free legal services.”

The New York State New Americans Hotline supports the network of 27 neighborhood-based ONA Opportunity Centers. Hosted within existing culturally-competent, language-accessible community-based organizations throughout the State, each ONA Opportunity Center helps immigrants learn English, prepare naturalization applications, study for the U.S. citizenship exam, and start and grow businesses.

New York State has the second largest immigrant population in the nation, which includes more than 1.2 million immigrants who reside outside the New York City area. More than one in four New York State residents of working age is foreign-born, which presents a major opportunity for economic growth in our state, where 29 percent of all small businesses are owned by immigrants.

“We look forward to serving more immigrants across New York State and urge them to tap into the hotline,” Perales continued.

For more information on the New York State Office for New Americans, go to www.newamericans.ny.gov

Hope for New Immigration Policy; Are You Eligible for Deferred Action?

Friday, August 9th, 2013
 
By Ben Ros
Recent support in Washington for the Senate immigration bill has many looking forward to comprehensive immigration reform. For many, however, help is already here: since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) bill passed last year, millions have become eligible for protection from deportation. Catholic Charities can help you find out if you are eligible for deferred action or prepare for possible new reforms.

Movers and shakers across religious and political spectrums are offering the issue their support. This week Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg joins His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan and Msgr. Kevin Sullivan (proponents of the Catholic community’s long-standing pro-immigrant stance) in working to reform immigration policy.

You may be eligible for deferred action if you:

  • Have come to the United States under the age of 16 and not be above the age of 30.
  • Have resided in the United States continuously for at least five years before June 15, 2012, and have been present in the United States as of June 15, 2012.
  • Be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED certificate or be honorably discharged veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense or multiple mi
    sdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline: 1 (800) 566-7636 — open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. — to speak with someone who can help you through the process or visit the USCIS website to learn more.

 

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Get the Latest on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Seeking more information on Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

Catholic Charities is here to help.

Call Catholic Charities at  the New York State New Americans Hotline: 1-800-566-7636.

First-Hand Stories of Tragedy and Survival; JustLove Celebrates World Refugee Day

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

A Nigerian man had his finger tips sawed off.  A Muslim child was threatened with death by her Serbian playmates.  They are two of the thousands of refugees helped by Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services whose stories Mark Von Sternberg, Senior Attorney of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Department, shared with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on the recent JustLove radio program in celebration of today, World Refugee Day.

Millions of families have lost their homes to violence and war.  Some, such as the Nigerian man for whom Mr. Von Sternberg successfully gained asylum, lost body parts.  Others lost husbands, wives and children.

Tune in to our recent show on JustLove on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio to learn more.

World Refugee Day is a time when the United Nations, Catholic Charities and other civic and religious groups honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

The Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program is dedicated to serving survivors of violence and persecution who have fled their home countries to seek a new life in the United States. Catholic Charities Community Services assists family members and sponsors in making applications for refugees who are outside the United States, and for asylees with recently obtained status.

Multilingual, multicultural staff assist in the processing of refugee applications with overseas posts and make pre-arrival arrangements to assure that the refugee will be cared for upon arrival to the United States. After arrival, the office provides direct services, material assistance, job search assistance, job training and placement, ESL classes, school enrollment and other social services.

Do you need help?

Catholic Charities operates the New York State New Americans Hotline , a statewide information and referral hotline that gives general information and referrals to appropriate service agencies in response to immigration and citizenship-related questions. Hotline operators speak English, Spanish, French, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Polish, Arabic, Turkish, Albanian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. New Americans Hotline provides an expanded menu of language options, previously not available, via a language service line, as well.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (Toll-free in NYS)

 

Immigration Reform: Political Winds Blowing Our Way

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Immigration reform may pass this year, predicts Kevin Appleby, director of migration and refugee policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as he speaks with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on JustLove radio broadcast on April 27.

“Political winds, Mr. Appleby says, “are blowing our way.”

Called the “guru of immigration reform” by Msgr. Sullivan, Mr. Appleby offers an inside perspective on immigration reform’s history, hurdles and likelihood of success.

“We don’t have a system based on the rule of law anymore,” Mr. Appleby says.  “It’s based on chaos.

“At the border we have a sign that says ‘keep out’ but at the workplace we have a sign that says ‘help wanted.’”

Eleven million people live in the shadows and form an underground economy, he added.  Massive deportations divide families and pull parents away from children.  Persons struggling for a better life die as they try to cross the desert.

Solutions have been debated for decades, ever since Congress passed its last major immigration reform bill in 1986.

What’s different now “in a word,” says Mr. Appleby, “is the election; both parties have taken note and realized that the demographics of our country are changing and they need to get out ahead of it.”
Tune in to hear the entire show on The Catholic Channel 129, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio.

Looking for information about Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

Catholic Charities is here to help.

Click here to learn how to prepare for immigration reform

Contact us now.

Call Catholic Charities at New York State New Americans Hotline: 1-800-566-7636