The state Office for New Americans (ONA) will host a free legal and naturalization consultation clinic in Orange County to advise immigrants on questions regarding immigration law and to help them prepare and review U.S. naturalization applications.
The clinic will be held at the ONA Opportunity Center at 321 South William Street, Newburgh, on June 10. The governor’s opportunity agenda for new Americans aims to help immigrants fully participate in New York State’s civic and economic life. The ONA Opportunity Center is hosted locally by Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County.
“Every New American who is eligible and wants to become a U.S. citizen should be supported through the naturalization process,” said Jorge I. Montalvo, Director of the New York State Office for New Americans.
Naturalization ensures that immigrants have the ability to fully integrate into U.S. society. Nearly one million New Yorkers are eligible to naturalize and recent studies have found that naturalization has a tremendous positive economic impact.
The Migration Policy Institute recently found that naturalized citizens earn between 50 and 70 percent more than noncitizens and are half as likely to live below the poverty line as noncitizens. It was also found that naturalized citizens have higher employment rates than noncitizens.
Once naturalized, New Americans are able to gain access to certain jobs and licensed professions that require citizenship. Naturalized citizens also acquire many rights, including the ability to protect their children’s right to remain in the United States.
As part of this clinic, attorneys who are experts in immigration law will be available for free legal consultations.
The Office for New Americans is partnering with the Immigrant Advocates Network to use the CitizenshipWorks software to complete applications at the clinics and at the ONA Opportunity Centers. CitizenshipWorks is a new technology solution that simplifies the naturalization application process and allows New Americans to simultaneously apply for a naturalization fee waiver.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo created the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) to assist new New Yorkers who are eager to contribute to the state’s economy and become part of the family of New York. The cornerstone of ONA’s efforts is the creation of a network of 27 neighborhood-based Opportunity Centers located throughout New York State.
The centers are hosted within existing culturally competent, language-accessible, community-based organizations. The ONA Opportunity Center network is supported by a team of attorneys who are experts in immigration law and by a toll-free, multilingual hotline that can be used to respond to general questions about immigration and naturalization and provide referrals to other immigrant-related public and private programs.
ONA’s Opportunity Center network served more than 34,000 immigrants in its first year of operation with English-for-Speakers-of-Other-Languages training, naturalization and DACA assistance, federal immigration law and policies information and referrals, and business development training.
Learn more about ONA by visiting the ONA website at www.newamericans.ny.gov, liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NYSNewAmericans, joining the conversation on Twitter at @NYSNewAmericans (Hashtag: #NYSNewAmericans), and viewing our photos on Instagram (www.instagram.com/NYSNewAmericans). Information and referrals are also available through the toll- free, multi-lingual New York State New Americans Hotline at: 1-800-566-7636.
To register call Jennifer Ramirez at 845-562-4736 or email Jennifer.Ramirez@archny.org. by Monday, June 9, 2015.