Volunteering with CUNY Citizenship Now!

While you will be enjoying the holiday season with your family, DACA young people will be living in fear that you will take away their right to work, their right to travel abroad and their right to be safe from deportation.

–Allan Wernick
Open letter to Donald Trump, November 24, 2016

Personal background

After the election, many of my friends have felt a motivation to begin taking actions and working toward social change. After I posted my own election reaction post, one friend of mine recommended a particular organization as a good place to volunteer: CUNY Citizenship Now, which is the City University of New York’s immigrant legal service program. Now more than ever, immigrants need support, even here in New York City, a place truly built on welcoming immigrants.

I went to my first meeting this past Saturday, December 3, which was held in the Bronx in Tracey Towers. The event was from 10AM to 4PM but volunteers were welcome to come for however much time they could afford (and they do feed you!). Because I hadn’t gone through training yet, all I was able to do was help people in the waiting area to fill out their applications before seeing an attorney. Though this was a small task, being in the room was eye-opening. There were so many families, elderly folks, and couples who needed to get citizenship to stay united as a family.

About CUNY Citizenship Now!

This is the mission statement, posted on their website.

CUNY Citizenship Now! provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified. We also coordinate community, educational, and volunteer initiatives to help expand opportunities for New York City’s immigrant population.

Take action

I hope you can volunteer for this great cause. After you sign up to be a volunteer, CUNY Citizenship Now will email you before their next event. You click the link in the email to register, and that’s it! You’re ready to volunteer.

They really need 1) legal professionals and 2) people who speak Spanish. I personally am not either, so you should still volunteer even if you don’t do these things. But if you do, please help!

Location of events varies throughout all the boroughs (except not really Staten Island, I was told).

The next event will be January 7, 2016. More details forthcoming.

They also periodically hold training events so that you can do more jobs at the events. The next one is full, but I will be at the one after that!

If you’re unable to volunteer at this time, please consider donatingI am committed to donating a small amount of money to some cause every month. I encourage you to make this your cause this month! Donations go toward funding these drop-in events that help immigrants receive free legal counseling.

Links

 

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