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Speaker Quinn and the New York Immigration Coalition Announce 10,000 Identification Documents Issued to NYC Immigrants

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x235,  E-mail: tyaku@thenyic.org
New York City  (Tuesday, July 16, 2013)

Speaker Quinn and the New York Immigration Coalition Announce 10,000 Identification Documents Issued to NYC Immigrants

 Legal IDs enable immigrant families to enter public schools, increase financial stability, and permit access to government buildings

Today, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and the New York Immigration Coalition celebrated the 10,000th consulate-identity document issued to an immigrant New Yorker since the launch of an ongoing school-based initiative in 2011. This milestone was achieved through a series of Council funded multi-service events coordinated by the NYIC, in collaboration with La Union, El Centro del Inmigrante, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Queens Community House, LSA Family Health Service, Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center, Food Bank, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, the People’s Theatre Project, Citi Community Development and the Consulates of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. A special thanks to schools partners citywide: PS 24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; Curtis High School, Staten Island; PS 155, East Harlem; Pan American International High School, Bronx; Renaissance Charter School, Jackson Heights Queens; Bronx Regional High School; Gregorio Luperon High School, Washington Heights and PS 307, Corona Queens.

[Photo Above] Community members line up at 7am outside of PS 24 school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn to receive Consulate ID services and attend workshops.

Consulate IDs with a local address and passports enable immigrant families to enter our city’s public schools, obtain information to file income tax returns, apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, open bank accounts, enter government buildings, get library cards and ensure access to other crucial city services. Department of Education guidelines require every visitor who enters a New York City public school to show a valid form of photo ID; this rule poses a barrier for parents of city school children who lack proper identification.

“New York is an immigrant city, and today we’ve achieved real results for New Yorkers by helping over 10,000 immigrants receive identity documents. We are responding to the concerns of parents who have been unable to fully engage in their children’s education, and to those who want greater access to financial institutions and other government services,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “We look forward to continuing to work with New York Immigration Coalition and foreign consulates to make sure every New Yorker can fully participate in our city.”

The New York City Council has allocated $400,000 for these events to assist immigrants since 2011. Over 15,000 people, including families who have children at more than 850 public schools across the city, have attended since they started in February 2011. These 19 workshops, which were held in public schools across the city, provided a one-stop access to key services for immigrants, including:

  • The provision of official identification documents like individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN), passports, and consular IDs;
  • Know-your-rights trainings;
  •  Information and workshops on the federal government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and comprehensive immigration reform proposals;
  • Workshops on college planning;
  • Legal screenings and referrals;
  • Tax preparation workshops and tax filing services;
  • Access to banking and credit unions;
  • And recommendations for other educational and social programs.

[Photo Above] A series of three workshops being conducted for parents at the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, Queens, on tax preparation, deferred action, and anti-fraud immigration services.

“While the nation as a whole looks to Congress to pass an immigration reform bill, there’s plenty the city can do in the meantime to increase immigrant communities’ integration and more fully leverage the crucial contributions they make to the city,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “We’re proud to join with Council Speaker Quinn in this initiative, which brings together diverse partners to reach some of the hardest-to-reach communities and welcome them fully into the city’s economic and civic life.”

“New York has always attracted people from across the world to come here and we must do all we can to keep our diverse immigrant communities thriving and successful. I want to thank New York Immigration Coalition for partnering with the Council to provide these vital services,” said Daniel Dromm, chair of the Council’s Committee on Immigration.

“Upon reaching this milestone, La Union is extremely happy to have engaged and served immigrant populations not just in Sunset Park, but from the tri-state area. Thanks to the vision and commitment of the City Council, La Union has used these events to ensure that the majority of these families not only gain access to IDs with all of its benefits , but that they also find the information and support needed as they apply to immigration benefits and a variety of supports in other social issues. La Union has greatly increased its membership through this initiative, making it easier for immigrant families to participate as civic members of the city's life and vitality,” said Leticia Alanis, executive director of La Union.

[Photo Above] The Mexican consulate providing consular ID services.

“We commend the City Council, New York Immigration Coalition and the consulates for working with our hard to reach immigrant communities in such an effective manner, said Angela Fernandez, executive director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. “We are honored and excited to be part of such a proactive initiative, as we continue to push for immigration reform.”

“PS 24K The Dual Language School for International Studies, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn is proud to contribute to the NYC Department of Education’s effort to make our schools responsive to the needs of the families in our community. We welcome parents into our school so that they can partner with us for the academic success of our students,” said Christina Fuentes, Prinicipal of PS 24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. “When PS 24 hosts an event to provide Consulate IDs we are facilitating access to schools for our students’ parents.”

“LSA is proud to help hard-working immigrant families step forward into the rich fabric of our city with legal ID’s -- a fundamental key to opening doors and building stronger, healthier lives,” said Gary S. Carter, LCSW, executive director of LSA Family Health Service, a nonprofit agency in East Harlem / El Barrio.

[Photo Above] A family poses with the NYIC's parent guide to college planning called "Your Children Can Go to College. Yes They Can!"

For more information on upcoming events please visit NYIC’s website: www.thenyic.org

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The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

 

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