In 2014, the Long Island Community Foundation established the Long Island Immigrant Children’s Fund, a donor collaborative that pooled resources to support critical social and advocacy services to Central American children who began arriving on Long Island without adult family members in unexpectedly large numbers at that time. Since then, leveraging contributions from ten funders and donors, it has awarded more than $1.3 million to organizations that have assisted hundreds of immigrant youth through immigration and family court proceedings, connected them and their families to needed social services, and advocated for appropriate educational services.
The Long Island Immigrant Children’s Fund has been a vital mechanism for addressing the needs of recently arrived immigrant children on Long Island. Funders have worked together with stakeholders serving these children to identify gaps and needed services, such as legal representation, educational advocacy, and mental health services. These services continue to be critically important as national anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric continue to fuel this hostility and threaten the rights of these refugee minors.
The journey from Central America to the United States is dangerous and difficult, yet for many, it is an opportunity to flee extreme violence and persecution in their home countries in search of safety and the promise of a better life.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre
Central American Refugee Center – CARECEN NY
The Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, Inc.
New York Civil Liberties Union
New York Immigration Coalition
Safe Passage Project
Touro Law Center
Alpern Family Foundation, Inc.
Episcopal Diocese of Long Island
Hagedorn Family Foundation, Inc.
The J.M. Kaplan Fund, Inc.
Long Island Community Foundation
Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund
The Rauch Foundation, Inc.
Sisters of Saint Joseph
And other individual donors
Between 2014-2019, Long Island received 15,553 immigrant children, mostly from Central America, nearly 44 percent of the New York State total.
Since October 2020, Suffolk and Nassau Counties received 3,001 children, an increase of more than 550 percent from the previous year.
Children entering the United States alone are afforded certain protections under U.S. immigration law, but legal counsel is not one of them.
Without legal representation, 100 percent of immigrant minors end up detained or deported. With representation, they have an 80 percent chance of being granted asylum or relief.
Advocates indicate that only 25 percent of the population of migrant youth on Long Island have received legal support.
For more information about the Immigrant Children’s Fund contact:
Sol Marie Alfonso Jones, Senior Program Officer: email@example.com
Melissa Greenberger, Program Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org