For 14 years, the Daily News and the City University have set aside a week to help immigrants navigate federal laws that are, even in the best of times, a bureaucratic nightmare.
These are not the best of times.
Which is why this year, the Citizenship Now! effort connecting volunteers who know how the system works with people desperate for assistance has an all-hands energy and urgency.
From the hub at John Jay College, the Daily News and CUNY are running a phone bank with 600 experts speaking over 40 languages, delivering free-of-charge guidance on all aspects of immigration law.
Looking for help renewing a visa? Converting temporary status into permanent residency? Pursuing an application for political asylum? Trying to get a wife or husband settled in the U.S.?
Contending with Trump’s travel ban, or at least the pieces of it that haven’t been stopped by the courts? Fighting deportation orders? Call.
As a candidate, Donald Trump said he would deport all 11 million people in the nation illegally. Soon after taking office, the President claimed his focus would be on “bad hombres.”
In practice, his administration has been indiscriminate and cruel, moving to deport people with minor criminal records and with none whatsoever, upending countless lives.
Last year, Citizenship Now! fielded 13,327 calls. This year, expect more.
Help is available 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Friday. The English/multilingual line is 212-444-5968. The Spanish line is 212-444-5964. Callers will be routed to a volunteer in their language. (The hearing-impaired can dial 711.)
Don’t live in fear. Pick up the phone and call.
By Editorials for Daily News
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