CUNY Citizenship Now! hosts 25th-anniversary in-person event



Rachel Dalloo

CUNY Citizenship Now! held its largest in-person “application assistance event” to mark the organization’s 25th anniversary. The event was a partnership between the New Americans Campaign of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, according to CUNY’s website.

The event helped approximately 202 green card holders obtain their United States citizenship and “obtain a fee waiver” that will allow for them to become naturalized citizens.

Approximately 400 people were in attendance for the event, US News World Report reported.

“CUNY is proudly expanding efforts to ensure that all immigrant students are getting the resources they need to overcome the barriers they, unfortunately, face when pursuing a college education,” Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez said in a statement.

In attendance at the event were New York Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez, Commissioner Manuel Castro of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson and Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.

New York City Council members Gale Brewer, Carmen De La Rosa, Eric Dinowitz and Sandra Ung were also in attendance.

Gibson called for April 30 to be officially recognized as “CUNY Citizenship Now! Day.”

Some of the attendees noted that the program helped them and their families as they seek permanent citizenship in the U.S.

For Hamely José, the program provided her and her family with insightful information and resources so she can make better decisions and gain knowledge about the process.

“I am grateful because they are helping me a lot,” José said. “I feel very proud and happy that I am trying to get there and get ahead with my family.”

Since the program was created, it has helped over 210,000 immigrant families with employment opportunities, green cards and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, among others.

The program has also trained over “4,000 volunteer corps,” with approximately 500 participants active every year.

In its 25-year history, it has completed the largest “naturalization process” of any provider within New York City.