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For Immediate Release:
August 12, 2013
Contact: 518-486-9846
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New York, New York – The New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) has opened registration for a free 40-hour training course to help not-for-profit organizations and non-attorneys obtain recognition and accreditation by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).  BIA Accreditation allows non-attorney staff of recognized agencies to represent individuals before U.S. immigration authorities. The training will take place at the offices of the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), located at 137-139 West 25th Street, 12th Floor, during the week of September 9, 2013, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. This training is being held as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s opportunity agenda for New Americans, which aims to help immigrants fully participate in New York State’s civic and economic life and is being conducted for ONA by the New York Immigration Coalition.

 To reserve a spot, please contact Jonathan Vidal, 212-627-2227 Ext. 227 or There are a limited number of spaces available and your spot will not be reserved until you have submitted your completed registration form.  The registration form can be accessed at

 “We encourage all not-for-profit organizations serving New Americans to attend this important training,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, who oversees the New York State Office for New Americans for Governor Cuomo. “By increasing the availability of BIA-accredited organizations, we will dramatically reduce the chances of New Americans becoming a target of unscrupulous and unqualified individuals who promise assistance with naturalization and other immigration issues, but ultimately deliver nothing and commit fraud.”

 “We are extremely proud that New York State has recognized the work of the New York Immigration Coalition’s (NYIC) Immigrant Concerns Training Institute, and named us the State BIA Trainer,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC). “As Congress debates the future of immigration reform, it is more important than ever to ensure that non-citizen New Yorkers have access to quality, affordable legal help.  We are proud to be part of ONA’s mission to significantly expand these services.”

Only duly-licensed attorneys or BIA-accredited representatives may assist in immigration proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s immigration courts and Board of Immigration Appeals (Board), or before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Training is a requirement of the BIA accreditation process. 

Governor Cuomo created the New York State Office for New Americans as the first statewide office with a sole focus on harnessing the talents and entrepreneurial spirit of New Americans to reinvigorate the State’s economy. The cornerstone of the work of the Office is a network of 27 neighborhood-based Opportunity Centers, which works with community organizations, educational institutions, government agencies and the private sector. The Centers are undertaking a major campaign to:

For more information, visit the ONA website at and follow on Twitter at @NYSNewAmericans; Hashtag: #NYSNewAmericans. Information and referrals are also available through the toll- free, multi-lingual New York State New Americans Hotline at: 1-800-566-7636.

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Laz Benitez/Edison Alban (NYS Office for New Americans)                                            212-417-5803

Camille Mackler (New York Immigration Coalition)                                                         212-627-2227