News / USA

NY City University Immigration Program a Success

NY City University Immigration Program a Successi
X
June 19, 2013 9:44 PM
While the United States Congress continues to wrestle with an immigration reform bill, every day more people become American citizens. In fact, last year the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service swore in almost 700,000 new citizens, including 84,000 in New York State. More on the story from VOA’s Bernard Shusman.
Bernard Shusman
While the United States Congress continues to wrestle with an immigration reform bill, every day more people become American citizens. In fact, last year the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service swore in almost 700,000 new citizens, including 84,000 in New York State. 

The immigration bill is the big issue on the minds of those seeking information about citizenship.

The City University of New York’s call-in phone banks for immigrants draw thousands of inquiries.

Volunteers from all walks of life, including brand- new citizens, man the lines, providing information to callers.  

People from many different cultures help answer the concerned immigrant callers.   

"I’m handling Spanish calls and Brazilian, too.  People who speak Portuguese. And we are handling calls from all over New York, but even from Idaho," said a volunteer.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the volunteers that this program is really doing something positive.

“This country needs more immigrants.  We’ve got to make sure that immigrants that are here get a chance to participate and build our country.  And Washington’s crazy in terms of trying to keep the very people out that built our country and are our future, so you’re helping a lot," said Bloomberg.

The program has had its impact.  One new citizen is Emma Dyer, who immigrated from Panama.   Emma found out about the program on TV.

“Being a citizen, people know, your voice counts, you can make change. That piece of paper means to be a lot of things. Number 1, I can go to the airport - any airport - buy a ticket going to anywhere and coming back with no answer and no question because I have my passport," said Dyer.

The crowning achievement is THAT piece of paper.  Almost every week in New York City new citizens are sworn in.  This was a day of joy mixed with tears for 150 new citizens from 32 different countries, including Ghana, France and Venezuela.

“I’ve gone a long way to come [to] this, and I will cherish the American citizenship right now," said new U.S. citizen Shadrack Dugbatey.

“To be part of many nations like put together I think is what for me it means to be American, especially here in New York City," said Axelle Zemouli.

“And then you come to a ceremony where you are officially American. It feels so strange.  It’s so emotional, too, because you have grown to love a country so much.  Everybody loves the United States," said Helene Alonso.

These new citizens personify America….a nation of immigrants from all corners of the world.  And for many, it began with one phone call.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid