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On the Governor's Executive Order Providing Language Assistance Services Statewide

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x235,  E-mail: tyaku@thenyic.org
Albany, NY  (Thursday, October 6, 2011)

On the Governor's Executive Order Providing Language Assistance Services Statewide

Today, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order providing language assistance services at all state agencies that interact directly with the public. The executive order would cover over 20 agencies, and provides for translation of key documents into six languages, and interpretation services for all languages.

For more than a decade, the New York Immigration Coalition, together with its member organizations and other partners (including New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Legal Services NYC, Make the Road New York, and MinKwon Center for Community Action), has advocated for language access at the state level, knowing that the capacity to communicate with all constituents is a prerequisite for good and effective government.

Below is the statement from Ms. Chung-Wha Hong, executive director, the New York Immigration Coalition:

“We are so proud to be New Yorkers today! At a time when states like Alabama are coming undone with the most un-American, inhumane, and self-destructive policies against immigrants, Governor Cuomo wisely beats a different path. He demonstrates anew his commitment to government as a force for good, acknowledges that it is in the state’s interest to recognize immigrants as constituents crucial to the state’s economy and vitality, and acts to ensure full civil rights and equal access for all New Yorkers. The order is comprehensive in scope and lays out a concrete plan and timeline for implementation.

"With this language access order and his decision in June to oppose the federal Secure Communities program, Governor Cuomo bucks the trend, taking positive steps that can help reframe the national discourse on immigration.”

[PHOTO ABOVE] Governor Cuomo signs Executive Order to improve access to state services for non-English speakers; Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of NYIC on right.

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