HF to Award $50,000 in Support of America’s DREAMers
The Federation will select and provide 100 deserving immigrant youth with scholarships to cover the cost of the Deferred Action Program application
August 23, 2012, New York, NY—Continuing its long and successful track record as a national advocate for the Hispanic community on vital issues including education, immigration, health and economic empowerment, the Hispanic Federation proudly announced today it would raise $50,000 to aid eligible immigrant youth applying for the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Immigration Program.
Announced by the President on June 15th this policy allows qualifying immigrants under the age of 31 who came to the US before the age of 16—popularly known as DREAMers—to obtain protection from deportation and work permits for at least two years. Viewed by immigrant families and advocates as a significant milestone for undocumented youth, the Deferred Action program is the first step for over 1.7 million DREAMers to pursue higher education, gain meaningful employment and have an opportunity to contribute more fully to society.
Unfortunately, this federal policy initiative has one obstacle which may prove to be a major impediment for many of the young people it was designed to help—the high-priced $465 fee for the program being offered through the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Without financial assistance, the $465 fee (which does not include related legal fees in order to meet eligibility requirements) puts the program economically out of reach for many of the most deserving DREAMers.
“While this new Deferred Action Program is a huge benefit to so many undocumented youth and families, the high USCIS fee is a significant financial barrier for most low-income immigrant families struggling to pay rent and put food on the table,” said José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. “This is why the Hispanic Federation is raising funds to provide scholarships to low-income, eligible youth who would otherwise continue to live in fear or wait until they could piece the funds together.”
In conjunction with 10 Latino nonprofit partner organizations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania who are providing free or low-cost legal application assistance to these DREAMers, the Hispanic Federation will select and provide 100 deserving immigrant youth with scholarships to cover the cost of the application. The 10 Latino nonprofit partner organizations are:
- Center for Latino Progress (Hartford, CT)
- El Centro del Inmigrante (Staten Island, NY)
- Esperanza Immigration Legal Services (Philadelphia, PA)
- Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury (Danbury, CT)
- Immigration & American Citizenship Organization (Passaic, NJ)
- Juntos (Philadelphia, PA)
- La Casa de Don Pedro (Newark, NJ)
- Make the Road NY (Brooklyn & Queens, NY)
- Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (Manhattan & Bronx, NY)
- Westchester Hispanic Coalition (Hudson Valley, NY)
Funds will be awarded to families demonstrating the greatest need due to their low socioeconomic status and/or cases where multiple youth from the same family are eligible to apply for the program. Due to the limited funding available, the Hispanic Federation is only able to support youth identified as eligible through 1 of the 10 partner organizations listed above.
“We are extremely excited about the difference these funds will make in the lives of the DREAMers selected and that this difference will be multiplied exponentially when you consider the long-term impact on the Latino community and its growing recognition as a leading consumer demographic. We also solemnly recognize the limitations of these funds. We simply cannot help everyone”, says Calderón, “but we also know that grassroots movements like ours always inspire people to action and we encourage everyone who is interested in supporting a DREAMer to do so by joining HF in this endeavor. The more money we raise, the more DREAMers we can directly aid.”
Donations to support DREAMers can be made to the Hispanic Federation through our website (www.hispanicfederation.org) or by contacting Tania Munguia at the HF headquarters at (212) 233-8955. DREAMers looking to confirm their eligibility and apply must do so through the 10 partner organizations identified above. Interested parties can visit the Hispanic Federation website for specifics on the application process and to connect with one of the local partner organizations.
Make The Road New York | Se hace camino Nueva York
Tel: 347-SONAR12 (347-766-2712)
Make the Road New York (MRNY) builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services.
Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights
Address: 665 West 182nd Street, Ground Floor, New York, New York 10033
The Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR), is a non-profit organization, founded in 1982 to educate, defend and protect the rights of immigrants. Recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals, NMCIR is committed to expanding access to legal immigration services, participating in policy making and community organizing.
El Centro del Inmigrante
Address: 1546 Castleton Ave, Staten Island, NY 10302
El Centro, a storefront immigrant day worker center in Port Richmond, Staten Island, was developed in 1997 by a collaborative effort of Project Hospitality, the Latino Civic Association, and St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church to address the needs of the newly arrived immigrant day laborers and their families. Through immigrant and labor advocacy, educational workshops, labor leadership training, and emergency intervention for hunger, homelessness and health/safety needs, El Centro provides opportunities for economic empowerment, community-building and organizing. Services include English as a Second Language, G.E.D. and Literacy classes, labor organizing, health education and screenings, family and immigrant rights services, immigration counseling, legal assistance, social activities, food and clothing distribution and community service.
Westchester Hispanic Coalition
Address: 46 Waller Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605
The Westchester Hispanic Coalition is dedicated to the notion that the American Dream is attainable through hard work, desire, and a level playing field. The Coalition offers services designed to ensure fair employment and housing practices, help immigrants obtain and keep legal status, and provide children and families with healthcare and education. Founded in 1974, the Coalition is a private, not-for-profit organization, and the only provider of non-profit legal services in Westchester County, serving over 15,000 people annually.
Center for Latino Progress
Address: 95 Park Street, 2nd Floor, Hartford, CT 06106
Center For Latino Progress - CPRF's, formerly known as CT Puerto Rican Forum, mission is to advance the socio-economic conditions of the community at large, with emphasis on Hispanics, through education, training, supportive services, leadership development, and advocacy. CPRF offers culturally competent services and programs that foster individual and community growth, and create economic opportunities for all. CPRF specializes in providing cost effective programs to the fast growing Latino population; the marginalized and disadvantaged residents of Hartford; and its neighboring communities, in order to help them enter the social and economic mainstream.
Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury
Address: 87 West Street, Danbury, CT 06810
The Hispanic Center was founded in July 1968 as the Hispanic Civic Center of Danbury by a group of Hispanics who wanted to preserve their traditions and language and pass it on to the next generation. In 2009 Ingrid Alvarez-DiMarzo became Executive Director of the Center. Today, the Hispanic Center thrives with its many services and new programs. The Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury fully supports Spanish-speaking residents in their effort to strive and succeed, therefore providing a benefit to the Danbury community at large.
La Casa de Don Pedro
Address: 39 Broadway Newark, NJ 07104
La Casa de Don Pedro has been serving the residents and stakeholders of Newark’s North End since 1972. It was founded by new arrivals seeking a means to achieve self-sufficiency and empowerment in a rapidly changing city. Today La Casa is well known as the advocate for the North End neighborhoods and for residents throughout the City, County and State who seek to have viable communities and social justice for all. La Casa’s community organizing, advocacy and social service infrastructure is recognized as the largest and primary link to the Hispanic community in Newark and beyond.
Immigration & American Citizenship Organization
Address: 647 Main Avenue, Suite 205, Passaic, New Jersey, 07055
The mission of IACO is to orient and assist immigrants in their process of adjustment, stabilization and development in this multicultural society, regardless of their nationality, race, religion, sex, age, academic background and economic situation. These goals are attained by advising immigrants of the laws and procedures that govern this country, making them aware of their rights and duties, assisting them in their immigration steps, and educating them, so they can make full use of the opportunities that this country offers them.
Address: 2029 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Juntos is a Latino immigrant community led organization in Philadelphia fighting for human rights as workers, parents, youth, and immigrants. JUNTOS combines leadership development, community organizing, and focused collaborations with other community-based and advocacy organizations to build the power of our community so may be active agents of change. Juntos believes that every human being has the right to a quality education and the freedom to live with dignity regardless of immigration status.
Esperanza Immigration Legal Services
Address: 4261 North 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140
Esperanza Immigration legal Services delivers programs and services in our local Philadelphia community, and works with a network of over 12,000 clergy, churches, and community leaders across the country to strengthen Hispanic communities. Esperanza is positioned between the Hispanic clergy, churches, and community, and the nation’s political and corporate leaders, with connections to both and providing unique access for each to the other.