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Henrietta Post
  • New state office helps immigrants

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that more than 34,000 immigrants were helped by the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) during its first year of operations.
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  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that more than 34,000 immigrants were helped by the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) during its first year of operations.
    There are 27 ONA centers throughout the state within existing community-based organizations. The centers provide immigrants with language training, information and referrals regarding immigration laws and naturalization and business-development among other services. The centers also offer access to a team of attorneys expert in immigration law.
    ONA was launched in March 2013 to help newcomers in the state “who are eager to contribute to our economy and become part of the family of New York,” Cuomo stated in a release. The office is the first of its kind focused on helping immigrants integrate into American society, according to Cuomo.
    There are 4.2 million immigrants living in the state and one in four New Yorkers of working age are foreign- born, stated the release. Citing data from the Immigration Policy Center: In 2010, 31.2 percent of all business owners in New York State were foreign-born (36 percent in the New York City metropolitan area); these businesses had a total net business income of $12.6 billion, representing 22.6 percent of all net business income in the state; and New York’s immigrants are responsible for $229 billion in annual economic output.
    Information is at a toll-free, multilingual hotline (800-566-7636) to respond to general questions about immigration and naturalization and provide referrals to other immigrant-related public and private programs.
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