Helping New York City’s Immigrant Newcomers - The Long Island Community Foundation
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October 13, 2022   |   By the Long Island Community Foundation
Helping New York City’s Immigrant Newcomers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York City has long offered opportunity and asylum for those seeking a better life. In turn, immigrants have contributed immeasurably to New York.

In spring 2022, Texas and Arizona began purchasing one-way bus tickets for migrants and bused them to sanctuary cities including New York. By the fall, more than 17,000 asylum seekers had arrived from the southern border and the Mayor had declared a state of emergency as shelters neared record-breaking numbers. The unexpected surge is overwhelming the existing social services system. Many are arriving penniless, and nonprofits are stepping in to help recent arrivals stay safe, fed, housed, and pursue work and education while they wait for immigration court results, which can take years.

We are proud to “lift our lamp beside the golden door”—words immortalized on the Statue of Liberty. You can help ensure the door stays open by supporting nonprofits that continue to uphold our city’s tradition of welcoming immigrants.

NONPROFITS WE RECOMMEND


EMERGENCY SERVICES

Many groups are providing an array of human services to immigrants. Here, we highlight just a few who are supporting immigrant-led outreach and direct services and making emergency grants. If you want your gift to specifically support the most recent crisis, you can designate your gift to help recent migrant arrivals.

Havens Relief Fund Society engages volunteers, or almoners—social workers, clergy, legal aid lawyers, and community leaders—embedded in diverse communities to provide modest cash assistance grants to vulnerable individuals experiencing financial hardship. These grants, averaging $700, often fill gaps in the safety net, addressing financial emergencies when no other resources are available. It is helping recent arrivals with resources from Metrocards to security deposits to winter clothing.

La Colmena (or Staten Island Community Job Center) is a membership organization composed of day laborers, domestic workers, and undocumented immigrants in Staten Island. A source for work training for immigrants on Staten Island, it also provides direct emergency relief assistance to families, helps organize immigration policy and anti-hate campaigns, and makes referrals to services such as food pantries and legal aid.

New York Immigration Coalition is a statewide policy and advocacy organization composed of nearly 200 immigrant groups. It is advocating for more city, state, and federal resources and for the expansion of emergency shelter services, to support the surge. And it is coordinating with other nonprofits to welcome new arrivals at Port Authority with food and information, directing them to resources in the city.

SHELTER

Because the City guarantees a shelter bed to anyone without a place to stay, including the newest immigrants, many shelters are expanding services to meet the need. Each year, CAMBA provides social services to 65,000 New Yorkers, half of whom are immigrants. Other supports include education, health, legal services, and an immigration assistance program.

LEGAL SERVICES

The complexities of immigration law almost guarantee that without legal representation, immigrants’ will lose their claims in the courts. And yet because deportation proceedings are considered civil, not criminal, proceedings, migrants do not have the right to a public defender. Migrant children are even more likely to be unable to afford or access legal representation, but eighty-five percent of migrant children without a lawyer are ordered deported.

Safe Passage Project, founded in 2006, has one mission: to ensure that no child in New York faces the immigration process without legal assistance. Serving over a thousand migrant children a year, with a robust pro bono program, they have helped over 90 percent of their clients win the right to remain in the United States.

EDUCATION

The current wave of migration deepens the urgent need to help newcomers succeed in school and beyond. Almost all need to learn English and had inconsistent schooling in their home countries, and many are coping with trauma from the crises they fled, or from the journey to the United States.

ImmSchools ensures that the City’s public schools support undocumented and mixed-status students and families through advocacy, workshops, and training. It is providing recent arrivals with supplies and resources and working to meet the unique needs of newcomer families living in temporary housing through outreach and training for school administrators.

Media Contact Information

Need help or advice?

Marie C. Smith
Director of Donor Relations and Communications
(631) 991-8800, ext. 223
msmith@licf.org

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Media Contact Information

Need help or advice?

Marie C. Smith
Director of Donor Relations and Communications
(631) 991-8800, ext. 223
msmith@licf.org

Get our media kit

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