New York City announces Fall Citizenship Drive


| Photo by Beatrice Murch via Flickr/Commons CC BY 2.0

NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Raquel Batista announced Monday the NYC Fall Citizenship Drive to provide naturalization eligibility screenings and free citizenship application assistance to immigrant New Yorkers.

The drive will feature two large-scale application assistance clinics run by CUNY Citizenship Now!, each aiming to serve 200-300 people. These large application assistance events will be held later this fall. The first will be on November 20 at MS 2 in Brooklyn, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., marking the return of Citizenship Now! in-person events since March of 2020. The second event will be held in December, date, and location to be announced in the coming weeks.

“New York is the ultimate city of immigrants,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We don’t take that distinction lightly. We work every day to ensure our immigrant communities have the tools, resources, and support they need to make our city and our nation their permanent home.”

According to the MOIA, an estimated 589,000 immigrant New Yorkers are lawful permanent residents (i.e., green card holders) and are currently eligible to naturalize. Of those, approximately 169,000 are low-income and limited English proficient. The Fall Citizenship Drive aims to reach this population through a series of events hosted by MOIA, CUNY Citizenship Now!, and select community-based organizations (CBOs).

“Helping immigrant New Yorkers thrive makes us stronger as a city,” said Raquel Batista, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “We are excited to collaborate with community organizations deeply rooted in our city’s hardest-to-reach immigrant communities to provide resources and support with the citizen application process.”

Select community-based organizations will provide community outreach, naturalization screenings, and citizenship application assistance to immigrant New Yorkers across all five boroughs from October to December 2021. These organizations are:

  • Arab American Association of New York – Brooklyn
  • Haitian American United for Progress – Brooklyn & Queens
  • Mexican Coalition for the Empowerment of Youth and Families – Brooklyn & The Bronx
  • Dominicanos USA – Bronx/Upper Manhattan
  • Sauti Yetu – Bronx & Staten Island

CUNY Citizenship Now!, the most extensive university legal assistance program in the U.S., will also provide technical assistance and capacity-building support to the community-based organizations providing services during the drive.

“CUNY is pleased to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in this Fall Citizenship Initiative, providing New Yorkers with free, high-quality legal assistance, helping them take the final step in their long road to U.S. citizenship,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “Over more than 25 years, CUNY Citizenship Now! has helped more than 150,000 New Yorkers navigate the complicated path through the immigration labyrinth. Throughout the pandemic, Citizenship Now! has provided remote services to New York immigrants. We look forward to this return to in-person services aided by hundreds of volunteers from the CUNY/NYC Volunteer Corps.”

For information regarding CUNY Citizenship Now!‘s large citizenship application assistance events, call 646-664-9400.To schedule an appointment with a participating community-based organization, you may visit them directly or call the ActionNYC Hotline at 1-800-354-0365 and say “Citizenship.”

CUNY Citizenship Now! is the largest university legal assistance program in the United States, providing free and confidential citizenship and immigration law services since 1997.  It is a City University of New York project, the nation’s largest urban public university.

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