Catholic Migration Services is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a two-year grant from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) apply for United States citizenship. This is a highly competitive grant, with only two grant recipients in New York City and only forty in the entire United States.
Receipt of this highly competitive award is a recognition of the outstanding work performed by our staff and dedicated volunteers, and by our partner, LaGuardia Community College. Through our partnership, LPRs obtain coordinated naturalization services, with Catholic Migration Services providing legal services and LaGuardia Community College providing civics and ESL classes. Together, we help more than 500 LPRs become citizens each year! These new citizens can now enjoy the rights and privileges that come with citizenship, including the right to vote.
Our citizenship work is especially important now, when immigrants are facing new and difficult barriers to achieving the dream of citizenship. Unfortunately, government grants do not fully cover the costs of this critical work. Please support our citizenship work so that we can continue to ensure that all LPRs have an opportunity to fulfill the dream of American citizenship.
On Friday, October 12th and October 19th, Catholic Migration Services hosted the 2018 Annual Shining Star Award Dinners at Gargulio’s Restaurant in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Approximately 1000 attendees gathered to celebrate honorees who, through their efforts in their communities embody the mission of “welcoming the stranger among us”.
This year 30 leaders representing 29 ethnic ministries received Shining Star Awards. Honorees were selected by their peers in their respective ethnic ministries and were treated to an evening of festivities which included the award ceremony, dinner, and dancing. The 2018 program introduced Rev. Jason Espinal, Associate Vicar for Migration and Ethnic Apostolates and the Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Angels in Brooklyn. Fr. Espinal offered the Invocation and introduced Very Rev. Patrick J. Keating, Esq., CEO of Catholic Migration Services for the Opening Address. In his address, Fr. Keating shared the importance of the role of the immigrant community in the life of the community and Church.
Following the presentation of awards, Fr. Keating welcomed the Most Rev. Witold Mroziewski, Vicar for Migrants and Ethnic Apostolates, Pastor of Holy Cross Church in Maspeth, and the former Coordinator of the Polish Apostolate who later introduced the Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn for the Keynote Address. In his address, Bishop DiMarzio spoke about the diversity of the Diocese of Brooklyn, fondly known as the Diocese of Immigrants. He congratulated the honorees, their work and commitment to their parish communities, the Church, the City, and the Nation. Bishop DiMarzio also informed those present of the proposed change to Public Charge reiterating that Catholic Migration Services will continue to serve, inform, and advocate on behalf of the immigrant community, the backbone of our Diocese.
2018 Shining Star Award Honorees
Ms. Maricoeur Altidor – 2018 Haitian Shining Star
Mrs. Ana Lucia Teixeira Alves – 2018 Brazilian Shining Star
Mrs. Sharon Andrews – 2018 West Indian Shining Star
Mrs. Susana Villegas Armas – 2018 Ecuadorian Shining Star
Ms. Lourdes Batiz – 2018 Garifuna Shining Star
Mrs. Lesia Brykailo – 2018 Ukrainian Shining Star
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Jim & Daisy Calungsod – 2018 Filipino Shining Star
Mrs. Georgeann Campbell – 2018 African-American Shining Star
Ms. Giuditta Coccia, A.O. – 2018 Italian Shining Star
Mr. Walter L. Cooper – 2018 Irish Shining Star
Mr. Arturo Vazquez Diaz – 2018 Mexican Shining Star
Mr. Janusz Grabinski – 2018 Polish Shining Star
Mr. Joaquin Gonzalez – 2018 Shining Star (Spain)
Mrs. Teresa L. Gonzalez – 2018 Shining Star (Cuba)
Mrs. Anna Hlavata – 2018 Czech/Slovak Shining Star
Mr. Saleen Jan – 2018 Pakistani Shining Star
Mr. Terence Nedumparambil Joseph – 2018 Indian Latin Rite Shining Star
Mr. Ji Lin – 2018 Brooklyn Chinese Shining Star
Mr. Phoung Cong Nguyen – 2018 Vietnamese Shining Star
Mr. Enoch Opoku-Mensah – 2018 Ghanaian Shining Star
Mrs. Gladys N. Ozoude – 2018 Nigerian Shining Star
Mrs. Maria Rosario – 2018 Dominican Republic Shining Star
Mr. Yaicinio Rojas Sanchez – 2018 Colombian Shining Star
Mr. Kyung Soo Shin – 2018 Korean Shining Star
Mr. Raimundas Slizys – 2018 Lithuanian Shining Star
Mr. David Triestanto – 2018 Indonesian Shining Star
Ms. Veronica Y. Tsang – 2018 Queens Chinese Shining Star
Read the full story in The Tablet: Catholic Migration Services’ Shining Star Awards
See Current’s NET TV’s news segment: Lithuanian “Shining Star” Honoree Helps Restore Brooklyn Church
See Current’s NET TV’s news segment: “Shining Star” Businesswoman Devoted to Faith and Finance
Current’s NET TV’s Full News Coverage: Monday, October 22, 2018
Catholic Migration Services joins the New York Immigration Coalition and over eighty partners in New York Counts 2020, a coalition to maximize participation in the census and therefore counter the expected impact of the citizenship question if added to the 2020 census. If included, a citizenship question will stoke unnecessary fear in immigrant communities and could result in a significant undercount, particularly already under-counted racial and ethnic minority groups. With immigrants constituting nearly 1 out of 4 New Yorkers, an undercount in the 2020 Census will have catastrophic consequences – costing all New Yorkers political power and billions of dollars in federal funding for key services.
Read the full press release from the New York Immigration Coalition: BREAKING: DOJ Reveals Bannon Behind Census Citizenship Question
On Wednesday, a dozen people among library staff and volunteers stuffed 300 backpacks with children’s books in Spanish and art supplies to be distributed among children and adolescents placed in the care of organizations in New York. Catholic Migration Services is among the list of organizations advocating for immigrants’ rights and legal services to bring books to minors.
Read the full story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Brooklyn Public Library brings books and art materials to migrant children separated from their parents
Un volante fue encontrado este domingo por el concejal Jimmy Van Bramer en un poste de energía ubicado en la esquina de la calle 35 y la avenida Skillman, con un mensaje que el concejal describe como un símbolo antiinmigrante. En respuesta, el organizo una rueda de prensa junto a representantes de Make the Road New York (MRNY), Servicios Católicos de Migración, Sunnyside Community Services, Sunnyside & Woodside Action Group (SWAG), representantes de LaGuardia Community College, activistas de inmigración y residentes locales para denunciar la propaganda.
Lea la historia completa en El Diario: Aparición de volante antiinmigrante crea temor en zona de Queens
In response to the alarming posters that appeared in Sunnyside, Queens, activists, educators and a New York City council member have joined forces to denounce the presence of white supremacist activity in the borough after a hate group said it was responsible for creating the signs.
Read the full story from NBC New York: Council Member Condemns White Supremacist Activity in New York City After Anti-Immigration Signs Appear