Latest Grant News: $170,000 to Thwart Impact of “Public Charge” Proposal, Ongoing Threats to Immigrant Rights
As we enter the final months of 2018, we are pleased to announce $170,000 from our Immigrant Rights Fund to support immigrant-serving nonprofits across Brooklyn providing social services, legal aid, and advocacy. These new grants bring our total funding to date to $837,300 since the Fund was launch in the weeks following the 2016 presidential election.
Immediate Response Grants
$50,000 will directly address the effects of the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to “public charge” rule. New regulations announced in September by the Department of Homeland Security will dramatically expand the criteria that the government will consider as reasons for denying visa and green card applications—meaning that many immigrant families may decide to withdraw from programs like SNAP and other critical social safety nets fearing of consequences to their immigration status.
Immediate Response grants of $25,000 each will go to Make the Road New York and the New York Immigration Coalition to support advocacy and organizing across New York City’s immigrant populations to challenge the proposed public charge changes.
According to an analysis jointly conducted by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Department of Social Services, and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, if enacted, the “public charge” proposal could harm up to 475,000 immigrant New Yorkers as well as hundreds of thousands additional New Yorkers, including U.S. citizen children.
Under previous federal administrations, an applicant for a green card or certain types of visas could be barred based on a determination that they are a “public charge” if deemed likely to rely primarily on cash assistance or long-term care from the government for survival. Under the Trump Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seeks to expand their discretion to deny applications based on an immigrant’s age, family size, income, and assets, as well as based on whether they have utilized certain cash or non-cash public benefits or programs they are legally entitled to use. By law, several categories of immigrants—including refugees and asylees—are not subject to the public charge test in their immigration applications.
“Due to the complexity of the rule, it is important that individuals who think that they could potentially be at risk of being a public charge consult with an advocate or attorney at a community based organization for assistance. The role of community based organizations during this time is more important than ever, to provide updated information to families so they understand if and how this proposed regulation could impact them. Individuals should continue accessing key public benefits for now since this is still a proposal and the rule has not gone into effect yet,” said Javier Valdes, Co-Executive Director at Make the Road New York.
Sustained Response Grants
To date, we have made 30 grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 to support ongoing legal consultations, coalition building and community organizing, mental and physical health services, political education, workforce development efforts, and community safety for immigrant communities across Brooklyn.
This fall, we are renewing our support for seven organizations:
- Atlas: DIY ($20,000) to support increased organizational capacity to meet the legal, social service, and advocacy needs of Brooklyn’s young undocumented immigrants.
- Brandworkers ($10,000) to support the transformative power and leadership of Brooklyn’s immigrant local food production industry workers.
- Center for Family Life in Sunset Park ($15,000) for the Sanctuary Families Project, which supports Sunset Park immigrant parents at risk of deportation and mobilizes local Brooklyn community member allies to create long-term guardianship and child care plans for immigrant children living in Brooklyn.
- Churches United for Fair Housing ($20,000) support legal services, trainings, and coordinated advocacy efforts for immigrant communities in partnership with CUFFH’s network of membership churches.
- Faith in New York ($15,000) to support Prophetic Leadership School that will train local leaders for grassroots campaigns to change policies around mass deportation and mass incarceration.
- Safe Horizon ($10,000) to support expansion of services to immigrant victims of gender-based violence as well as increased training for frontline staff at social service agencies who are first responders to immigrants in need.
- UnLocal ($20,000) to support legal representation and community legal education in school, workplace, and community settings for undocumented immigrants in Brooklyn.
We also awarded a new grant of $10,000 to Asian American Writers’ Workshop to support its Open City fellowship and online magazine focused on issues impacting immigrant communities in Brooklyn neighborhoods.
Pledge your support to Brooklyn’s immigrant communities:
100% of contributions will directly support vital immigrant-serving nonprofits