Undocumented immigrants find support from CUNY and Council

Pedro Villarroel, (l.-r.) a LaGuardia student eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals progam; is joined by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney; Shah Amanat, president of LaGuardia Community College's student government; and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Starting this month, the City University of New York will offer free help applying for deferred action — a new federal program that grants temporary legal status to some undocumented immigrants so they may stay in the country and go to school or work without fear of deportation — at City Council members’ offices for all who are eligible.

“[CUNY] is doing its part to try to help those who are here qualify for legal status,” said Allan Wernick, director of CUNY Citizenship NOW!, at a town hall exploring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City Sunday.

The deferred action program is available to undocumented immigrants who are 30 or younger and who came to the United States before their 16th birthday and meet various requirements, such as being in school or having a high-school diploma. It is not a path to citizenship, although it can be renewed every two years.

CUNY Citizenship NOW! will offer help applying for the program, as well as continued assistance with citizenship applications, at 30 Council member offices across the five boroughs.

Participating Queens Council members include James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), Peter Koo (D-Flushing), Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica), Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst).

Wernick said the services, previously only available to CUNY students, were opened to the wider public Oct. 1 through a grant from the Council.

“We’re very proud of that,” he said.

CUNY Citizenship NOW! is the largest of any university-based immigration service provider in the country and the largest free immigration service law provider in the city.

The town hall also explored the larger impact of the deferred action program, announced by the Obama administration in June and intended to operate similar to the DREAM Act.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria), who moderated the event, said although she thinks the program is a terrific accomplishment, she would ultimately like to see Congress pass the DREAM Act in order to give young immigrants a path to citizenship.

“Our immigration system is broken and more needs to be done,” she said. “DREAMers represent our future. They are going to pursue their education, they are going to work hard, they are going to make a huge difference for our country.”

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Posted 10:48 pm, October 10, 2012
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Reader feedback

kent klarc from uppertown says:

Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries.

The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.

What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?

How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.
Oct. 12, 2012, 10:08 am
Lou from Bayside says:
Maloney should be declared an enemy combatant of the United States. The game plan is to end the United States by first forming a "North American Union" with Canada and Mexico. Once all these third worlders are in your country these government whores will reduce your standard of living to that of Mexico. They will use foreign troops to enforce their agenda on the American people!
Oct. 12, 2012, 10:22 am
Naseer Jilani from Pakistan says:
Dear Sir , My Baby is US citizen , She is 10 years old.Can I get immigration of USA. I want to come back USA. Can any body help me. Thanks Naseer Jilani from Pakistan
Nov. 6, 2012, 3:07 am

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