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For Immediate Release:
June 8, 2016
Contact: 518-486-9844
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New York State Department of State Announces Fourth Year of the Immigrant Community Navigator Program in Recognition of Immigrant Heritage Month

Governor Issues Proclamation Declaring June Immigrant Heritage Awareness Month, Celebrating the Important Contributions of New Americans Across the State

Eight Community Navigators Will Deploy Across the State to Bring Trusted Information to Immigrants and Build Community Resilience

In recognition of Immigrant Heritage Month, the Department of State today announced the launch of the fourth year of the Immigrant Community Navigator program. This program, managed by the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA), provides accurate and reliable information to immigrants and refugees, as well as vital programming to support these communities with cultural, economic and social integration throughout the state.

Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “New York stands proud of its immigrant history and the ONA Immigrant Community Navigator program is a testament to that. As part of ONA’s trusted network of community-based providers, the ONA Immigrant Community Navigators are supporting and connecting New York’s immigrant communities with valuable resources and information during this uncertain time. During this Immigrant Heritage Awareness month, I am grateful for the Governor’s leadership and ongoing support for our immigrant community.”

The ONA Immigrant Community Navigator program ensures that there is dedicated outreach and community welcoming efforts to help low-income immigrants gain access to the same opportunities available to all others in New York State. The Navigators serve as a trusted source of information for the immigrant community and they have played an important role in the community during these uncertain times of COVID-19 by coordinating and conducting critical outreach in support of available services for new Americans around the state. Navigators have been working with grassroots organizations, community leaders, community-based organizations (including ONA Opportunity Centers and Community Action Agencies), Regional Economic Development Council’s Opportunity Agenda workgroups, faith-based organizations and local governments.

The ONA Immigrant Community Navigators will operate in the following regions and counties of the state:

ONA Immigrant Community Navigators are operating in line with the New York State guidelines and are currently delivering services virtually. As regional guidelines permit in-person services, ONA Immigrant Community Navigators will be housed in community-based organizations and are tasked with establishing and leading targeted community programs to better inform and serve low-income immigrant and refugee communities across New York State. ONA Immigrant Community Navigators engage in regular outreach to address immigrant integration issues and policy changes. Navigators also lead trainings and workforce development workshops on skills and information relevant to low-income immigrant and refugee communities to increase their knowledge of available resources, while supporting them in integrating into the social, civic, and economic life of their new chosen home.

Since its creation in 2017, the ONA Immigrant Community Navigator program has evolved to become a trusted source of information and resources for communities across New York State. In the first two years of the Immigrant Community Navigator program, ONA has served and impacted over 5,000 low-income immigrants and refugees through Community Conversations, Impact Days, Trainings, Roundtable Meetings, and Workforce Development Workshops.

About the Office for New Americans & the Liberty Defense Project

The New York State Office for New Americans, founded seven years ago, is the nation's first statutorily created immigrant services office. ONA is housed within the New York State Department of State and has Opportunity Centers across the State that are hosted in community-based organizations that deliver a host of services and support, including legal services, to New York's new American communities. These sites are the focal point for communities to embrace immigrants by providing them with the tools necessary to thrive and contribute to our state. In addition, ONA provides mobile English-language learning assistance through Cell-Ed, mental health support to New Americans through the Golden Door program, and assistance to immigrant families and individuals with developmental disabilities through the Ramirez June Developmental Disabilities Navigator initiative.

In 2017, Governor Cuomo launched the Liberty Defense Project – the first-in-the-nation, state-led public-private project – to assist immigrants regardless of status in obtaining access to legal services. The project is administered by ONA and run in partnership with community-based legal service providers who assist immigrants with complex and urgent legal matters including deportation defense.

Any immigrant can connect with ONA’s free services by calling the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636. All call information is confidential. Assistance is available in 200+ languages.