Volunteers from Queensborough Community College are fielding calls this week for the Daily News/CUNY Citizenship Now! hotline.
The 11th annual call-in runs April 22 – 26, providing free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Information is provided in English, Spanish and more than 20 other languages.
The hotline numbers are:
English: (212) 590-1613
Spanish: (212) 590-1618
TTY/TTD number: (212) 221-2419
CUNY attorneys and paralegals also offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. The effort also coordinates community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population.
Queensborough volunteers on the hotline include Lampeto (Bette) Efthymiou and Jeffrey Ballerini, both from QCC’s Center for International Affairs, Immigration and Study Abroad, and Lucy Shi and Miguel Quiroz from the accounting office.
Lucy Shi, who is staffing the lines every morning, has seen many public officials during their visits, including New York Speaker Christine Quinn and U.S. Representative Grace Meng.
Thousands of calls poured in to the hotline on the first day, from across New York City and around the world. The hotline has helped more than 100,000 callers since it began.
“Some interesting calls are from people who have had their green cards for more than 20 years and the only reason that they didn’t apply for their citizenship is because they didnt know how to go about it,” says Shi, who has fielded about 20 calls per day. “They benefited by learning about the May 11 event at John Jay College where volunteers will help with their applications.”