Borough President Donovan Richards last week opened an Immigrant Welcome Center at Borough Hall.
The new facility fulfills one of Richards’ campaign promises and offers new resources to the more than one-million immigrants who live throughout the borough.
“Every day, families from all corners of the globe come here to Queens to start businesses in our neighborhoods, send their children to our schools, and be integral parts of our thriving communities,” Richards said. “We could not be prouder to open the first-ever Immigrant Welcome Center at Queens Borough Hall to better serve our immigrant families and provide a vast array of critical services.”
The Immigrant Welcome Center began servicing the community after its soft launch last June, and offers legal assistance, language resources, and a variety of other services to immigrants living in Queens.
Volunteers from a variety of community-based organizations will work and contribute at the welcome center. Partnerships with other service providers, as well as city and state agencies, are expected as the center’s operations expand in the future.
“As the daughter of immigrants from our borough, I know firsthand how crucial it is to provide needed resources to our local immigrant communities, such as legal assistance and referrals to community-based organizations and city services,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “We must do all we can to empower immigrants and help them thrive.”
“Immigrant New Yorkers have been resilient leaders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to be key to New York City’s recovery,” explained May Malik from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “We look forward to partnering with the center to empower and advocate for immigrant communities across Queens.”
Daniel Dromm, chair of the City Council Budget Committee, mentioned the possibility of promoting similar initiatives across the city.
“This is a major step forward for our community to receive services by collaborating with well-rounded organizations to easily find assistance, education and emergency relief,” Dromm said. “A center like this will bring transparency, better data, and research on immigrant groups and collective sense of community.”
The Immigrant Welcome Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Due to the pandemic, the center is not accepting any walk-in appointments, though there are plans to accept them in the future.
The center can be contacted at (718) 286-0644 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Donovan Richards on Flickr