By JANET DIGERONIMO
The 11th annual CUNY/Daily News Citizenship Now! hotline was in full swing Tuesday, providing free and confidential information to people about immigration reform and requirements for citizenship via volunteers who answered calls.
“I think we are providing a bridge between immigrants and immigrant services,” said communications and college relations specialist Sofia Carreno at the New Community College, 50 W. 40th St. “People don’t always know where to go for help, and that is our greatest contribution.”
Since the hotline was initiated 11 years ago, IT has helped 113,000 people and counting. “There isn’t any other service like this the in the nation,” said Carreno.
Combined, the hotline volunteers speak over 40 languages, nike kobe 9 broadening the number of people they can communicate with. Issues such as naturalization, citizenship for children, and legalization are just a few of the many topics volunteers are trained to deal with.
When third-time volunteer Arlene Joseph was asked why she continues to volunteer with the hotline, she said, “It’s important to help people.” Joseph also said she plans on volunteering more of her time in the coming years. She is just one of the 400 plus volunteers that have dedicated their time to the cause.
With much attention focused on immigration reform recently, the hotline puts into perspective the number of people with questions about these matters. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and fellow mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota appeared at the event, personally thanking each of the volunteers.
The hotline will be open to callers until April 26.