Tag Archives: nyic

FIRM Spotlight: The New York Immigration Coalition Fights for Resources

Recently, New York legislators have announced massive cuts to the state’s budget. These cuts include money that will be taken away from education and slash funding for programs that provide vital resources to immigrants;  ESL, adult literacy and citizenship assistance.

Yesterday, our partners at the New York Immigration Coalition took to the streets with over 1,000 supporters, calling for more cooperation with immigrant communities to rebuild the state’s economy.


“Immigrants account for nearly a quarter of the state’s gross economic output, or $229 billion,” said Ms. Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, the organizer of today’s event.  “We also came out in force in the 2008 election, making up a significant segment of new voters revitalizing our democracy.  And we’re here today because four million immigrant New Yorkers are ready to work with the state to get our economy rolling again, and to let the governor and legislators know that supporting strong and vibrant immigrant communities is part of the solution.”

“There are fairer and more productive ways to meet the budget challenges we face than slashing core services,” said SJ Jung, president of YKASEC-Empowering the Korean-American Community.  “What about raising new revenue, for example, with an income tax surcharge on the wealthiest New Yorkers? Do we ask a few thousand millionaires to give a little more, or do we put that burden solely on the most vulnerable residents of the state?”

“How can you make cuts to programs like ESL that are only meeting 6% of the need to begin with? And doesn’t it make sense to use fiscal stimulus money to jump start our economy by investing in immigrant workers? One in five state residents is an immigrant.”  Participants plan to engage in a discussion with state officials to shape any worker assistance program in the stimulus plan to include immigrant workers.

Spotlight NYIC: The Impact of the Immigrant Vote and Civic Participation

On Saturday, October 25th, the New York State Youth Leadership Council (along with guest speakers) discussed the impact of the immigrant vote and immigration policy in the 2008 presidential elections, the issues faced by immigrant youth (specifically, access to higher education), and their role in the political process as engines of change in their communities.

Members of the YLC also shared their experiences as participants of the NYSYLC Civic Engagement Program.  They discussed how they have organized civic circles in their communities to educate and organize their communities to build power and impact the political process. Guest speakers included: Alan Kaplan, Civic & Electoral Participation Program Coordinator, New York Immigration Coalition,

Suman Raghunathan, Project Consultant for “Feet in Two Worlds” and Bill Shiebler, National Field Director, U.S. Student Association.