The Emerald Isle Immigration Center has launched an ambitious $2.8 million expansion project at its facility in the Bronx in order to significantly expand its service offerings and extend its reach to meet the needs of New York's immigrant communities. 

Renovation work undertaken by Empire State Development kicked off at the EIIC on Katonah Avenue in the Bronx on May 3 as part of a project to transform the center into a state-of-the-art and fully accessible facility. 

The project involves adding a third floor to the center, refurbishing its underutilized second-floor space, and installing an elevator, which will more than double the available area for programs, activities, and events.

Upon completion, the EIIC will feature four floors dedicated to a diverse range of uses, including a modern training lab and library, private consultation rooms for clients, and expanded office space.

Siobhan Dennehy, Executive Director of the EIIC, said the work would allow the center to carry out community-based services. 

"While the days of 'Irish Need Not Apply' may be behind us, the needs of our Irish Diaspora, and the newest New Yorkers from around the globe remain urgent. Emerald Isle Immigration Center is on the front lines," Dennehy said in a statement.

"We are deeply grateful to Governor Hochul, Empire State Development, and all of our funders for sharing this vision of compassion and community-based services." 

Established in 1988 in Woodside, Queens, the EIIC first served the needs of the significant Irish Diaspora focusing on immigration and nationalization.

Today, it serves New Yorkers from over 130 nations from two locations with a full suite of free, vital services, providing legal assistance and educational programs. It also empowers immigrants to navigate complex systems, become citizens, and thrive in American society.

Empire State Development supported the project with a $500,000 capital grant recommended by the New York City Regional Economic Development Council, while the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York also provided a $250,000 grant. 

Further funding was provided by the New York City Council, The Irish Government Department of Foreign Affairs, The US Congress, The Tara Circle and individual donors. 

Consul-General of Ireland in New York Helena Nolan welcomed the launch of the project, stating that the EIIC plays a vital role in New York. 

"The Government of Ireland and the Consulate of Ireland in New York are delighted to contribute towards this project and to support the Emerald Isle Immigration Center as it future-proofs its facilities and continues to provide much-needed services for the community of New York, Nolan said in a statement.

"The support of the State and individual community members is a clear testament to the central place that the EIIC holds in the fabric of this city"