By Nick Perez
The Immigrant Rights and Services Manual (IRSM) is now published in Haitian Creole, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer announced Monday at a press conference.
“I am thrilled that the Haitian Creole-speaking community will now have its own edition of my IRSM,” Comptroller Stringer said. “All New Yorkers must have the tools they need to succeed in our city and this guide is an important recourse for our newest residents.”
The press conference was held in the heart of the Haitian community at the Flatbush Merchant Mart. Stringer was joined by Haitian community leaders including State Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte, CUNY’s University Student Senate Vice Chair Emelyn Fernandez and Executive Director of Haitian American Caucus Samuel Pierre.
The 70-page manual contains important information, rights and resources for immigrants such as public benefits, education and health insurance in all five boroughs.
“The information contained within the manual is invaluable and now the Creole-speaking constituents in the district will have access to it,” said Rodneyse Bichotte. “Just drawing on my own experience, knowing where to call and where to go to gain access to the resources that you need is so important. I wish such a resource existed when my mother and I need it most.”
Like many community leaders, Stringer is excited about the news for immigrants. He alludes there are language barriers for many immigrants and wants to empower them with every new edition. Stringer counts it as leap forward with this new translation.
“The Comptroller’s immigrant rights and services manual is a phenomenal resource for all new New Yorkers,” said Pierre, who is eyeing a bid for Senate in the upcoming election, “and now it’s Haitian Creole edition will make it accessible to tens of thousands more.”
The new translated edition of IRSM will help thousands of immigrants find access to education and city resources as well.
Local leaders believe the Haitian community needs to know which resources are available to them from the city, state and federal governments. The newly-translated edition is the answer for thousands who do not know the services they can receive. It is the first step towards socioeconomic growth for many immigrant communities.
“As a student leader at CUNY, the most diverse institution of higher learning in the United States, I am excited to hear that Haitian-American community will have access to Comptroller Stringer’s Immigration Rights and Services Manual,” said Emelyn Fernandez. “I plan to share the information with the Haitian Student Organization around the University. And I am sure they will be equally excited to receive the news.”
Stringer, with the support of other community leaders, made physical editions of the IRSM to ensure every household gets a copy and refer to it at any time. The IRSM is also translated into Spanish, Korean, Russian and Chinese with new editions to come.