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NYIC Starts the Week by Ringing Closing Bell at NASDAQ

Shines a Spotlight on DREAMers

[Photo Above] NASDAQ welcomes New York Immigration Coalition on the NASDAQ Tower, Monday, June 25th

As part of the New York Immigration Coalition's 25th anniversary celebration, Robert Greifeld, NASDAQ chief executive and an honoree at our Builders of the New New York gala earlier this month, invited us to ring the closing bell. The NYIC used the opportunity to highlight DREAMers and immigrant contributions to our economy, and asked Jose Antonio Vargas, also a Builders honoree, founder of Define American, and undocumented Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, to share the honors with us.

[Photo Above] Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American, ring the NASDAQ closing bell. © 2012, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Following are the remarks delivered by Chung-Wha Hong, NYIC executive director, and Jose Antonio Vargas:

Chung-Wha Hong:
On behalf of the New York Immigration Coalition, I’d like to thank the NASDAQ team and its CEO, Bob Greifeld, for hosting us today. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, we are proud of the strong partnerships we’ve forged with the business community. Together, we share a vision of an immigration system that serves our economy and promotes opportunity for all. We know that immigrants are a critical part of the engine that creates thriving economies, and we need immigration policies that leverage their contributions. In particular, we are here today to shine a spotlight on Dreamers—young people who came to the U.S. as children. We recognize their incredible talent and desire to give back to our country; and their remarkable success at doing so much to create positive change. One such DREAMer is Jose Antonio Vargas, who wrote last week’s TIME Magazine cover story.

Photo above: TIME Magazine cover featuring Jose Antonio Vargas and 36 DREAMers on the NASDAQ Tower

Jose Antonio Vargas:
Thank you to the New York Immigration Coalition for giving DREAMers this incredible opportunity. On this cover of TIME magazine [HOLDING IT UP] are 36 DREAMers born in 15 different countries but all of whom call America home. The 36 DREAMers, myself included, come with 36 individual dreams: to be biologists and graphic designers, to be engineers and educators, to be soccer players and doctors -- to be contributing members of this great country. I am one of several DREAMers here today and we stand for the tens of thousands of DREAMers across the United States who are now more empowered to come forward and make their dreams a reality. Together, we dream. Together, we work for a better America for all.

Outside the studio where Chung-Wha and Jose spoke to an audience of NYIC board members, staff, DREAMers and friends, the NASDAQ Tower in Times Square lit up with the faces of immigrants, in beautiful portraits by photographer Joe Standart.

Photos above: New York Immigration Coalition’s DREAM Fellows, Advocates, and Friends featured on the NASDAQ Tower. Photos by Joe Standart. Captions sent messages of COMMUNITY, DIVERSITY, and OPPORTUNITY, and reminded the throngs traversing Times Square that WE ARE AMERICANS and NEW YORK IS IMMIGRANT STRONG!

Click HERE to watch video of the entire ceremony at NASDAQ.

More photos of the closing ceremony and images from the NASDAQ Tower can be seen HERE.

With some half-a-million people passing through Times Square daily, and nearly 10 million viewers seeing live shots of Times Square through nationally televised news programs, the NYIC was humbled at the opportunity to be featured on the NASDAQ Tower and to shine a light on the DREAMers and other immigrants who call this country home.


[Photo Above] New York Immigration Coalition Friends, Supporters, DREAMers, Advocates, and Allies at NASDAQ. © 2012, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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