Meng Announces $900,000 in Federal Funds for Immigration Advocacy Organizations in Queens

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QUEENS, NY – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced today that $900,000 in federal funds has been awarded to two key immigration advocacy organizations in Queens: Women for Afghan Women in Fresh Meadows and the Emerald Isle Immigration Center in Woodside. Both organizations each received $450,000.

The money will help the two groups expand their range of citizenship preparation services available to lawfully present immigrants, which seek to help these individuals prepare for U.S. citizenship and foster their integration into American society.

Established in 2001, Women for Afghan Womenis dedicated to protecting and promoting the rights of Afghan women and girls throughout Afghanistan and in the United States. In the U.S., it provides legal support, English language training, financial literacy, life skills and job readiness training, among other services and programs.

The Emerald Isle Immigration Centerworks to help immigrants become U.S. citizens and involved in civic affairs. It offers a variety of social services and mental health support. Originally created on behalf Irish immigrants in 1987, the group now assists those of many other nationalities as well.

“I thank Women for Afghan Women and the Emerald Isle Immigration Center for the important work they do in Queens,” said Congresswoman Meng. “It is a pleasure to work with their teams and have them located in my congressional district, and these funds will help both groups provide even more assistance to our immigrant communities. I look forward to continuing to work with them.”

“Women for Afghan Women (WAW) is pleased to have received the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grant for the third time, along with our sub grantee Riis Settlement,” said Naheed Samadi Bahram, U.S. Country Director at Women for Afghan Women. “A big thank you to Congresswoman Grace Meng for championing this effort and helping WAW serve immigrants in the community who want to seek citizenship. Through the USCIS grant, WAW is able to help underserved and low-income immigrants apply for U.S. Naturalization and study for their Naturalization exam. Without this grant, this service wouldn’t have been available for free in the community. WAW’s attorneys, caseworkers, and instructors are there for our community members in every step of their journey to Naturalization! To date, WAW has proudly naturalized over 400 individuals successfully by helping them apply for U.S. Citizenship and offering free Citizenship courses in preparation for their Naturalization exam.”

“For over 35 years, the Emerald Isle Immigration Center has provided new New Yorkers with the free legal aid and support they need to become U.S. citizens,” said Siobhan Dennehy, Executive Director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center. “It is a privilege to work with these aspiring citizens, and we are so proud to be continuing these efforts in our local community thanks to another generous grant from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The funding we will receive, totaling $450,000 over a two-year period, will be used to continue to support and enhance our citizenship preparation services in tandem with our very dedicated volunteers. We are very grateful for an increase in funding for the first time in ten years and are especially honored to have the stalwart leadership and vision of our partners in Washington, especially Congresswoman Meng, and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, who understand and support our work during this critical time for immigrants.”

The funds for both organizations are made available under the 2023 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. 

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