“We are a state of immigrants …while other states build walls
to keep people out, we open our arms and we invite people in.”
– Governor Andrew Cuomo, 2012 State of the State address.
In order to ensure that New Americans have the opportunities necessary to realize their full potential, Governor Cuomo has established a network of 27 neighborhood-based Opportunity Centers throughout the State hosted within an existing and diverse array of community-based organizations. Located in places with high concentrations of newcomers, the ONA Opportunity Centers will support New Americans through the use of unique programming, including the use of professional staff, in-class technology and community volunteers, to expand English-for-Speakers-of-Other-Languages (ESOL); help eligible youth participate in the new federal deferred action process; support interested eligible New Americans through the naturalization application process; and, open entrepreneurship opportunities to New Americans.
ONA Opportunity Centers partner with other community-based and government agencies to coordinate and/or host additional programming and support for new American communities. These sites will be the focal point for communities to embrace New Americans by volunteering their valuable time to support newcomers.
Supporting these ONA Opportunity Centers are a team of attorneys who will help expand the availability of pro-bono immigration lawyers while building the capacity of immigrant service providers around the State. And, there is a multi-lingual, toll-free New York New Americans assistance hotline to respond to general questions about immigration and naturalization requirements, procedures and benefits.