Immigrant Rights Fund

Pledge your support to Brooklyn’s immigrant communities:
Give to the Immigrant Rights Fund today

100% of contributions directly support vital immigrant-serving nonprofits


Brooklyn Community Foundation established the Immigrant Rights Fund in late 2016 in response to mounting uncertainty and fear within Brooklyn’s immigrant communities, combined with reports of xenophobic and racist attacks nationwide, and the creation of dangerous and exclusionary government policies. Our initial $1-million commitment has now grown to be a goal of deploying $2 million to take on both the immediate and long-term needs of immigrants in our borough through 2020.

We are committed to helping Brooklyn’s communities move from fear to strength, from trauma to healing, from division to wholeness, and from uncertainty to action. 

Brooklyn Community Foundation has created similar rapid-response funds in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the Haiti Earthquake in 2010. Our approach ensures that we support the most urgent needs of our communities while planning for a long-term response. 

Our Immigrant Communities

New York City’s immigrant population is at an all-time high, making it arguably the most diverse population in the world. Brooklyn’s increasing diversity reflects the changing face of our country and the strength new immigrants bring to our rich cultural landscape.

Brooklyn is home to nearly 950,000 foreign-born residents—nearly 40% of the borough’s population. Immigrants are also significant contributors to Brooklyn’s economic strength—nearly 50% of all Brooklyn businesses are immigrant-owned. 

It is estimated that 164,000 immigrants in Brooklyn are undocumented—accounting for 7% of Brooklyn’s total population—and upwards of 22,000 Brooklyn youth are DACA-eligible. Among U.S. counties, Brooklyn ranks 9th in total undocumented residents. Over a quarter of undocumented immigrants in the borough live with a child who was born in the United States, highlighting the potential impact deportations may have on separating parents from their children.

Explore more data on Immigrants in Brooklyn

Fund Strategy

Many of our grantees are small and led by members of their community, and are therefore unlikely to attract the kind of resources large national nonprofits do. While we do make strategic investments in larger organizations especially those that can advocate for systems level change, it is our local giving that is so effective: We know our community well and the organizations that keep it safe and strong. 

To date, the Fund has deployed nearly $837,300 through three funding streams:

Immediate Response Grants

Public Charge Proposal: $50,000 to 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 net programs fearing of consequences to their immigration status. Immediate Response grants of $25,000 were awarded 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.

​Family Separation Crisis: In early August 2018 we deployed $50,000 to address the ongoing national emergency of immigrant families separated and detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Five organizations are each receiving $10,000 Immediate Response grants to help provide critical legal representation and support services for the nearly 250 separated children relocated to New York City. Funding will advance the reunification process, which includes tracking down parents who have been detained, deported to their country of origin, or are out on bond. As families are reunified, funding will provide legal defense, social services, and wraparound case management support.

  • Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York
  • Central American Legal Assistance 
  • KIND
  • Safe Passage Project
  • The Door

​Termination of TPS: In November 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would end Temporary Protected Status for 60,000 Haitians nationwide in 2019; Brooklyn has the largest concentration Haitians second to Miami. In April 2018, the Trump Administration announced its plan to end TPS for 9,000 Nepalese immigrants. 

  • Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees 
  • Adhikaar

​DACA: On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced its decision to end the DACA program, which has given more than 800,000 young people nationwide the freedom to work, advance their education, and build a future in the country they’ve long called home—especially here in Brooklyn where more than 22,000 youth are estimated to be DACA eligible. In response, we deployed $50,000 to enable advocates here in Brooklyn to fight back and protect our Dreamers. Funds will help provide urgent legal aid for 2-year DACA renewals before the October 5th deadline, which require a $465 filing fee per reauthorization request, as well as legislative advocacy around the DREAM Act and the American Hope Act:

  • Make the Road New York
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • Atlas: DIY

Executive Order on Immigration: In January 2017, the Foundation announced nearly $100,000 in grants to support the critical response of 8 local nonprofits to challenges triggered by the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on immigration. These Immediate Response grants support the following organizations that are defending the liberties of immigrant individuals and families as well as promoting the safety and strength of our communities: 

  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • Arab American Association of New York
  • Arab American Family Support Center
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration
  • Brooklyn Defender Services 
  • DRUM, Desis Rising up and Moving
  • Make the Road New York
  • Jews for Racial and Economic Justice

Read about each of these grants

Sustained Response Grants

Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 are aimed at long-term challenges, including increased threats of deportations that would separate parents and children, as well as continued funding for advocacy and organizing. Funding supports 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.

  • Arab American Family Support Center
  • Asian American Writer's Workshop
  • Atlas:DIY*
  • Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services (BACDYS)
  • Brandworkers*
  • Center for Family Life*
  • Chinese-American Planning Council
  • Chinese Staff and Workers’ Association
  • Churches United for Fair Housing*
  • Community Healthcare Network 
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY)
  • Documented
  • Emma’s Torch*
  • Enlace
  • Faith in New York*
  • Equality for Flatbush
  • Families for Freedom
  • Laundry Workers Center 
  • Legal Aid Society of New York
  • New Sanctuary Coalition
  • Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
  • RIF Asylum Support
  • Safe Horizon’s Immigration Law Project*
  • Unlocal, Inc.*
  • Womankind

​*Indicates Renewed Funding

Read about each of these grants

Action Fund Grants

The Action Fund of the Immigrant Rights Fund is designed to support ongoing civil resistance and organizing efforts—including community-building, public education, action planning, and event logistics—with grants up to $2,500.

  • Adhikaar
  • Arab American Family Support Center 
  • Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services 
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration 
  • The Black Institute
  • Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project
  • Black Women's Blueprint
  • Enlace 
  • The New American Leaders Project
  • New York Communities for Change
  • OCA-NY Asian Pacific American Advocates 
  • Yemeni American Merchants Association 

Read about each of these grants

Ongoing Funding Opportunities

Sustained Response and Action Fund grants are made on a rolling basis. Learn more at

Pledge your support to Brooklyn’s immigrant communities:

Give to the Immigrant Rights Fund today

100% of contributions will directly support vital immigrant-serving nonprofits

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