New American Hotline a Hit with Ny’s Immigrants

Offers Assistance On Various Issues

The New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) announced that its New AmericansHotline has fielded more than 25,000 calls from immigrants and made more than 42,000 referrals to notfor profit service providers in response to requests for assistance in 2013.

As noted, the ONA was launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in March as the first statewide office dedicated to helping our state’s immigrants contribute to our economy and become part of the family of New York.

The New York State New Americans Hotline is a multi-lingual information center providing live assistance on general questions about immigration and naturalization. The hotline provides assistance in more than 200 languages, including Spanish, French, Haitian-Creole, Arabic and Chinese.

The hotline, 1-800-566-7636, operates from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays), and offers referrals to ONA Opportunity Centers and information on all New York State programs serving refugees and immigrants, other immigrant-related public and private programs, and notfor profit immigrant service providers throughout the state.

“We are pleased that the New York State NewAmericans Hotline is helping so many immigrants as they transition to fully participating in NewYork State’s civic and economic life,” said New York Secretary of State CesarA. Perales, who oversees ONA for Governor Cuomo. “The hotline is an important source of information for immigrants and others who seek immigration and naturalization assistance. It also refers NewAmericans to their nearest ONAOpportunity Center, where they can meet with a staff member to begin the process of learning English, becoming naturalized or starting a new business.”

The New York State New Americans Hotline supports the network of 27 neighborhood-based ONA Opportunity Centers. Hosted within existing culturally-competent, language-accessible communitybased organizations throughout the State, each ONA Opportunity Center helps immigrants learn English, prepare naturalization applications, study for the U.S. citizenship exam, and start and grow businesses.

New York State has the second largest immigrant population in the nation, which includes more than 1.2 million immigrants who reside outside the New York City area. More than one in four New York State residents of working age is foreign-born, which presents a major opportunity for economic growth in our state, where 29 percent of all small businesses are owned by immigrants.

“We look forward to serving more immigrants across New York State and urge them to tap into the hotline,” Perales continued.

For more information on the New York State Office for New Americans, go to www.newamericans.ny.gov.

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