Home Community Ribbon-Cutting Event Marked CUNY Citizenship Now! Expansion to Queens College

Ribbon-Cutting Event Marked CUNY Citizenship Now! Expansion to Queens College


A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, April 16, at Queens College officially opened the newest location of City University of New York (CUNY) Citizenship Now!, a program that empowers immigrants to represent themselves through the pro se model of legal assistance. It is the nation’s largest university legal assistance program providing free and confidential citizenship and immigration law services to local communities since 1997.

The new office, located in the Student Union lobby, Room 100, provides one-on-one counseling by appointment; bookings may be made online up to one month in advance.

“Congratulations to President Wu and Queens College on the opening of the newest location of Citizenship Now!, a program that embodies our university’s longstanding mission to serve New Yorkers of all backgrounds,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “This office will provide students with the personalized legal support they need to complete their citizenship journey and navigate other immigration issues, which will provide peace of mind so they can focus on reaching their academic and professional goals.”

Among the services available at the new location are assistance with naturalization, family-based petitions, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), temporary protected status, certificates of citizenship, renewal and replacement of immigration documents, fee waiver requests, and Freedom of Information/Privacy Act requests. Members of the college community will have priority access to immigration attorneys two days a week. CUNY Citizenship Now! has partnered with the Queens College Immigrant Student Support Initiative since 2023. The initiative aligns with CUNY’s goals to support programs for undocumented and immigrant students. Up-to-date information on immigrant services, resources, scholarships, and support is available by signing up for the Immigrant Student support Initiative email list here

“As a son of Taiwanese immigrants, I feel a deep connection to CUNY Citizenship Now!, and it is of profound importance to me,” said Queens College President Frank H. Wu. “Programs such as this did not exist when I went to college, and today’s event speaks to the progress we have made. As I’m sure you know, the Borough of Queens is nicknamed the “World’s Borough,” a place where over 120 nationalities call home, and our student population reflects that wonderful diversity. So it’s only fitting that we should have an office on campus for CUNY Citizenship Now, an organization dedicated to helping immigrants.”

Jay Hershenson, Queens College’s vice president for Communications and Marketing and senior advisor to the president, who co-founded CUNY Citizenship Now with Allan Wernick in 1997, acted as master of ceremonies. Speakers included Wu; Jennifer Jarvis, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Queens College; Monique Francis, interim director, CUNY Citizenship Now!; and Carla Córdova, a Queens College alumna, who provided a testimonial as a recipient of CUNY Citizenship Now! services.

CUNY Citizenship Now! attorneys and paralegals help thousands of individuals each year pursue the path to citizenship. In addition to one-on-one consultations by appointment, the program offers nationally recognized services to assist large groups of people with completing their immigration applications. Staff members regularly participate in free workshops and informational events to educate the community about immigrant rights, citizenship, and the latest developments in immigration law and policy. They also partner with the New York Historical Society to offer civics classes to green card holders.