Feb. 27, 2014 – On Sunday, March 2nd at 9:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 35-34 105th Street, in Corona, Queens, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Senator Charles Schumer and Catholic Migration Services of the Diocese of Brooklyn will announce the launch of a major media and outreach campaign entitled Cambia Tu Vida to promote naturalization of legal permanent residents in the New York City area. They will be joined by Congresswoman Grace Meng, Kelly Marie Fay Rodriguez of AFL-CIO’s Immigration and Community Action, Assemblyman Francisco Moya, and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, against the backdrop of hundreds of immigrant parishioners attending Mass.
The announcement is part of the New Americans Campaign (NAC), an unprecedented nonpartisan national network of more than 80 organizations who have come together to encourage and assist eligible legal permanent residents (LPRs) in becoming U.S. citizens. Beginning this month, Catholic Migration Services will bring the NAC’s message to New York City through a series of English and Spanish language public service announcements to air on local television stations, print and social media and grassroots publicity efforts. The campaign will encourage legal permanent residents to call the Cambia Tu Vida hotline at 855-622-6242 to be screened and, if eligible, registered for one of several “mega workshops” to be conducted by Catholic Migration Services in April.
There are over 8 million legal permanent residents in the United States who are eligible to become U.S. citizens. It is estimated that that more than half a million people in the New York City area are eligible to naturalize. Speakers at Sunday’s press conference will cite the myriad benefits of naturalization, including an increase in economic opportunity, access to full civic participation, ability to travel with a U.S. passport and greater pathways to family reunification. It will also be noted that these new citizens bring fresh talent pools and skills to the country’s workforce and enhance the cultural richness of U.S. society.
Through its efforts in March and April, Catholic Migration Services (CMS) will aim to assist over one thousand eligible individuals to complete and submit applications for naturalization. This assistance will be provided in a series of “mega workshops” staffed by CMS attorneys, counselors and pro bono volunteers. Adopting an innovative model of service provision developed by the NAC, CMS hopes to aid immigrants in overcoming the barriers and confusion often experienced by those who seek to apply for naturalization.
CMS is a non-profit affiliate of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. For over forty years, it has served the needs of immigrants and refugees in Brooklyn and Queens. For more information, please contact CMS at 347-472-3500 (Queens), 718-236-3000 (Brooklyn) or www.catholicmigration.org.