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MEDIA RELEASE - IMMIGRATION HOTLINE HAS 70% INCREASE IN CALL VOLUME SINCE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

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Catholic Charities Hotline in Collaboration with New York Immigration Coalition, Univision, El Diario, and Radio WADO Run Successful Three-Day Telethon

NEW YORK, NY (February 20, 2017) – Catholic Charities’ NYS New Americans Hotline, open daily from 9 am-8 pm at (800) 566-7636, has had a 70% increase in call volume since the presidential election three months ago.

 The New Americans Hotline traditionally answers an average of 24,000 calls year – about 6,000 per quarter. Since the presidential election three months ago, the hotline has answered 10,250 calls, a 70% increase in call volume. Of this total, 1,668 calls were answered during a telethon this week put together by the New York Immigration Coalition, Univision, El Diario, and Radio WADO when regular hotline staff members were joined by volunteers from New York City legal service providers and the New York Immigration Hotline from 4 pm to 8 pm, Monday – Wednesday. This increase in telethon call volume marks a nearly 50% increase in calls compared to a similar effort conducted before the recent executive orders on immigration were issued.

Top concerns from recent calls include: travel restrictions regarding the recent immigration ban, fear of ICE raids, deportation concerns and legal assistance for undocumented immigrants.

Additionally, for the first time ever a Live Town Meeting was conducted during this week on Univision Nueva York 41 and El Diario’s Facebook pages which resulted in almost 45K views; 600 comments and a reach of 200K.

“Call volume to our immigration hotline has significantly increased,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York. “In these uncertain times, Catholic Charities draws on its 100-year legacy of breaking through chaos and confusion to provide help and create hope for immigrants, refugees and all New Yorkers in need non-Catholic and Catholic alike.”

“Catholic Charities' mission is to assist all immigrants in need, be they families seeking to reunify, refugees, day workers, or children. In these especially difficult and troubling times we will continue to offer our core supports: competent legal services, compassionate resettlement assistance, and reliable information with the New Americans Hotline," says Mario Russell, Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services for Catholic Charities Community Services. "While an orderly and secure immigration process is important, policies that build walls, exclude people in need, and punish long-standing residents will neither make us better as a people nor safer as a nation. We will stand with them."

“In this time of great fear and anxiety for immigrants, New York Immigration Coalition is committed to ensuring that our communities have the most accurate information possible,” said Steven Choi, executive director of New York Immigration Coalition. “That’s why we are proud to have partners with Catholic Charities, NYS Office of New Americans, Univision, Radio WADO, and El Diario for the fourth time to provide this accessible hotline so that immigrants can have their questions answered by legal representatives. In a time of increased ICE enforcement, rumors of raids, federal pushes to restrict travel, and heightened panic, it is essential that immigrants are aware of their rights and next steps regarding their cases.”

“Our mission each and every day is to inform and empower our community through our newscast and by providing access to resources. Working with El Diario, Catholic Charities and the New York Immigration Coalition, we are proud to have been able to make critical information easily accessible for individuals and families to better assess any concerns they have about their immigration situations,” said Ramon Pineda, senior vice president and general manager of Univision New York.

 "In this moment of uncertainty for the immigrant community we want to ensure that they have as many resources available as possible. We are very proud of our partnerships with Univision 41, Catholic Charities and The NY Immigration Coalition as part of our initiative to help our community", said Carmen Villavicencio, Executive Editor of El Diario.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Teresa A. Santiago, CCNY, tascommunicationsllc@gmail.com; 914 263-6599

Thanu  Yakupitiyage, NYIC, tyaku@ nyic.org; (413) 687-5160