The Council of the City of New York
Office of Costa Constantinides
(718) 274-4500

For Immediate Release
July 2, 2018
Contact: Terence Cullen

Constantinides Announces Fiscal Year 2019 Funding for Immigrant Services

Astoria, N.Y. — Council Member Costa Constantinides today outlined ways in which the Fiscal Year 2019 budget provides vital services to immigrant communities in District 22.

Joined by advocates from the Ansob Center for Immigrants and Refugees as well as the CUNY Citizenship Now! program, the Council Member stressed how crucial these allocations are to making sure western Queens’ newest Americans can fulfill the promise of a better life in the United States.

“We are a nation of immigrants, but perhaps now more than ever we need to ensure these communities have all the support we can provide,” said Constantinides, who this year was appointed to the Budget Negotiating Team. “I was proud to play a larger role in the process this year, and want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson for that opportunity. Securing money for these groups was a top priority. Such funding in turn allows them to provide legal help, language training and prepare to become U.S. citizens. With the federal government’s continued assault on all immigrants, it’s on New York City to show that America really stands for inclusion and the exchange of ideas.”

Ansob Center, which has helped thousands of foreign-born people seeking safe haven in the U.S., received $70,000 in the FY2019 budget that took effect earlier this month. This year, the City Council has increased its investment at Ansob, helping them provide English language and citizenship classes, job placement, and other crucial services.

“That people have a safe place to come, it’s very important,” said Cathleen Joyce, Executive Director of Ansob Center. “We are appreciative of all the help and support.”

CUNY Citizenship Now! saw an increase of $500,000 in the budget, which funds the city through June 2019. The citywide program, with funding now at more than $2.5 million, allows Council Members to provide free legal services to immigrants who want to become American citizens.

“We appreciate the ongoing support of Council Member Constantinides and the New York City Council,” said Stephanie D. Delia, Managing Attorney, City Council Services at CUNY Citizenship Now! “During these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for immigrants and their loved ones to have access to free expert level immigration advice and application assistance. Citizenship Now!’s knowledgeable attorneys are in a position to meet this need.”

Scores of Queens residents have already been helped by this high-quality and confidential help, and Constantinides looks forward to those numbers only growing. If you personally need this service, please call the Council Member’s office at 718-274-4500.

“With more languages spoken here than anywhere else on Earth, Queens is truly the World’s Borough and Astoria is the World’s Neighborhood,” said Constantinides. “I want to thank Ansob Center and CUNY Citizenship Now! for their work in protecting our immigrant communities, making them know this City is their home, too.”

Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on four additional committees: Parks, Transportation, For-Hire Vehicles, and Land Use, as well as the sub-committee on Zoning and Franchises. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

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