The 15th annual Citizenship NOW! hotline, a free, confidential citizenship and immigration information service helping thousands of callers, will open June 19, according to the New York Daily News and The City University of New York, which sponsor the event.
“The New York Daily News is pleased to partner with CUNY to support immigration and citizenship issues in New York City and around the nation by together providing important, confidential and free information and referrals to assist those immigrants who may qualify for citizenship,” said Eric Gertler, co-chairman and co-publisher of the Daily News. “Citizenship Now! is the most comprehensive university-based immigration legal service program in the country,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken. “It’s an important reminder to all that at CUNY, immigrants matter.”
In anticipation of a record number of calls due to the current political climate, the hotline has expanded to 80 phone lines from last year’s 48. It will be open June 19 through June 23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and staffed by more than 400 volunteers. Calls will be answered in English and Spanish, as well as Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, Korean, Italian, Haitian Creole, Bengali, Polish, French, Yiddish and Arabic.
Permanent residents who want to become U.S. citizens, or those seeking permanent residency or who have other immigration concerns, will be referred to organizations that can help with applications at low or no cost.
“The outpouring of volunteer support for this year’s call-in from community activists, attorneys, students and others is inspiring,” said attorney Allan Wernick, director of Citizenship Now! and a law professor at Baruch College. Wernick also writes the “Immigration” column for the Daily News. “We will provide the information and referrals needed by immigrants to naturalize and for other immigration goals,” he said. “For undocumented immigrants, the best defense to deportation is getting legal status and we are here to help.”
Citizenship NOW! – the largest program of its kind in the nation –was co-launched by the Daily News and CUNY in April 2004 to address the lack of access to free and confidential immigration information. More than 156,000 callers have sought information from the hotline since its opening.
WXTV Univision 41, our Spanish-language media partner, will provide extensive outreach to the Hispanic community. Univision 41 has been a partner of the program since its inception. WABC-TV will once again serve as our English-language media partner. Both stations’ coverage will include live-coverage, on-air promotional announcements, and special news segments
This year’s generous sponsors include: American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) NY Chapter, AXA, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Capalino+Company, Cisco, Consulate General of Mexico in NY, CUNY Office of Computing and Information Services, CUNY Service Corps, CUNY School of Professional Studies, CUNY TV, El Diario, Fragomen Worldwide, GOYA, Hispanic Federation, Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), John Jay College for Criminal Justice, Juntos Podemos, MetroPlus, New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), New York State Office for New Americans (ONA), Presidio, Pro Bono Net, Qué Buena 92.7 FM, WADO 1280 AM.
English/Multilingual: (212) 444-5968
Spanish: (212) 444-5964
About the Partners:
With 2 million readers in New York, and 42 million national unique visitors online each month, the New York Daily News is the most widely read tabloid in the city and one of America’s fastest-growing websites. Covering breaking news, politics, sports, entertainment, celebrity, lifestyle, opinion, business and health, the New York Daily News delivers up-to-the-minute reporting, rich photography and compelling video to readers of its print newspaper, industry-leading website, tablet apps, and iPhone, Blackberry and Android editions.
The New York Daily News has won 10 Pulitzer Prize Awards for excellence in journalism. In 2015, it was awarded seven New York State Associated Press Association awards and took the Associated Press Sports Editors awards’ “Triple Crown,” as well as first place in the Investigative category across all circulation categories. In addition to its news operations, the New York Daily News runs Daily News Digital Solutions and the Innovation Lab.
The City University of New York:
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 degree-seeking students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and at more than 400 high schools throughout the five boroughs. The University offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.
About the Media Partners:
Univision Communications Inc.
Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) is the leading media company serving Hispanic America. The company, a leading content creator in the United States, includes Univision Network, one of the top five networks in the country regardless of language and the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the country available in approximately 93 percent of U.S. Hispanic television households; UniMás, a leading Spanish-language broadcast television network available in approximately 87 percent of U.S. Hispanic television households; Univision Cable Networks, including Galavisión, the most-watched U.S. Spanish-language cable network, as well as UDN (Univision Deportes Network), the most-watched U.S. Spanish-language sports network, Univision tlnovelas, a 24-hour cable network dedicated to telenovelas, ForoTV, a 24-hour Spanish-language cable network dedicated to international news, and an additional suite of cable offerings – De Película, De Película Clásico, Bandamax, Ritmoson and Telehit; Univision Television Group, which owns 59 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; digital properties consisting of online and mobile websites and apps, including Univision.com, the most-visited Spanish-language website among U.S. Hispanics, UVideos, a bilingual digital video network and Uforia, a music application featuring multimedia music content; and Univision Radio, the leading Spanish-language radio group in the U.S. which owns and operates 67 radio stations, including stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico. UCI’s assets also include a minority stake in El Rey Network, a 24-hour English-language general entertainment cable network and a joint venture with Disney/ABC Television Network for Fusion, a 24-hour English-language news and lifestyle TV and digital network. With headquarters in New York City, UCI has television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. For more information, please visit Univision.net.
Channel 7 is the ABC-owned television station in New York City, serving more than 7.3 million television households in 29 counties covering New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. It is New York’s No. 1 station and the most watched local television station in the United States.
Brian Adams, Daily News
Griselda Garcia, Daily News
Frank Sobrino, CUNY