New York’s strength comes from the diversity of its residents. Immigrants in New York are our elected leaders, our neighbors, our friends and our service providers. With President Trump’s recent Executive Orders and appointments targeting immigrant communities, we believe the private sector has a role to play to protect our fellow New Yorkers.
According to a report released in January 2017 by the Comptroller’s Office, immigrants earn $100 billion in total income, which is nearly one-third of NYC earnings. When you think about your day-to-day in New York, that figure is not surprising. Think about the cab drivers, business owners, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs you encounter: there are over 83,000 immigrant-owned businesses in NYC.
The Comptroller’s report also makes a point to demonstrate how anti-immigrant federal policies could have detrimental effects on the City’s economy.
At Capalino+Company, we believe in leveraging our resources and our staff’s immense talent to create positive impact in the communities in which we live and work. Every year, we design a series of opportunities for our company and our staff to give back to our communities.
As a direct response to this election and the actions of President Trump, we have created a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda for this year that puts our resources and staff time to serve and support the immigrants of New York City.
Helping Permanent Residents Become Citizens Through CUNY Citizenship Now
We started the year off by partnering with CUNY’s Citizenship Now program. CUNY Citizenship Now is the largest university-based legal assistance program in the nation and assists more than 10,000 individuals with the citizenship process annually. The program was officially launched in 1997 and has helped over 220,000 immigrants at their events and through their annual call-in since its founding.
A team of CUNY staff came to our office mid-January and trained 25 members of our staff to assist immigrants with naturalization forms. Our staff is putting this training to use by volunteering at CUNY events twice a month on Saturdays. As trained experts, they can also now help their neighbors and communities navigate this complicated process.
Twice a month, CUNY Citizenship Now hosts naturalization assistance events across New York City’s five boroughs. At these events, over 50 volunteers help between 100-200 immigrants fill out naturalization applications. Each volunteer sits with an applicant for up to an hour, filling out the 20-page application with tremendous amounts of information on the applicant’s history before immigrating to and as a resident of the United States.
As the year unfolds, we’ll continue to send volunteers to CUNY Citizenship Now events. Additionally, we believe that public higher education has a particularly important role to play in supporting New York’s immigrants. For that reason, the firm will be underwriting the cost of a four-year education for a student in the CUNY system who is undocumented.
We’ll continue to share regular updates on our Corporate Social Responsibility efforts throughout the year.
To learn more about creating a Corporate Social Responsibility agenda for your team, contact Jeanne Mullgrav, Executive Vice President for Social Responsibility at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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