On Wednesday, April 8th, Joe Crowley, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, and NYS Assembly Member Francisco Moya hosted an immigration forum in Jackson Heights, Queens. During this meeting leaders and experts on immigration discussed the status of President Obama’s executive action on immigration, the future of the NY DREAM Act, fraud prevention, the Central American Minors program, and different benefits and services available to immigrants in New York. This meeting provided members of the local community an opportunity to receive information and ask questions on the various programs that effect immigrants. CMS Immigration Counselor Marisol Canales was a member of the panel, she discussed CMS’ role in empowering immigrant communities and providing valuable resources and services. Other participating organizations included the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Legal Aid Society, SCO Family of Services, International Rescue Committee, Make the Road New York, Emerald Isle Immigration Center, FWD.us, Queens Community House, and CUNY Citizenship Now. New York State Senator Jose Peralta also joined the meeting held by Crowley and Moya.
Last Friday February 20th, The National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) and Univision 41 brought together a panel of attorneys and immigration experts to address over 300 community members at the Casita Maria Cultural Center in the Bronx. The panel focused on updates surrounding the executive action programs announced by President Obama in November of last year.
The panel spoke to inform and update community members of all the legal services available to them and their families interested in applying for an immigration status. President Obama’s proposed plan to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and introduce Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) would provide work authorization to and safeguard millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The more informed the community is of available services from licensed attorneys, the less likely they will be to fall victim to “notarios” or people not qualified to provide immigration legal services.
CMS and other organizations provided information on their services and hotlines to provide further information on the President’s executive action programs. The overwhelming interest further demonstrated the need for a more comprehensive solution to the existing immigration system and for the growing need for trustworthy legal service providers.
CMS Naturalization Coordinator Zach Shultz with Univision Anchor Jorge Viera.