City Holds Day of Action to Bring Information and Resources to NYC's 30,000 Dreamers
More than 200 volunteers fanned out across 31 neighborhoods to bring New Yorkers timely information on DACA and free legal help
On September 8, the City hosted a Day of Action on the DACA program, providing information and resources for New York City’s 30,000 Dreamers. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit worked alongside over 200 volunteers in 31 neighborhoods with high-density immigrant populations. Volunteers were joined by Bitta Mostofi, Acting Commissioner of MOIA, Carmelyn P. Malalis, Commissioner and Chair of CCHR, and Council Member Carlos Menchaca to assist in flyering in all five boroughs.
Volunteers distributed thousands of pieces of literature on the DACA announcement and City resources that are available to New Yorkers regardless of immigration status. DACA information was also available at all 26 IDNYC enrollment centers across the five boroughs.
“Dreamers are our neighbors, and New Yorkers stand by our neighbors in their time of need,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We are working hard to make sure that Dreamers – and all immigrant New Yorkers – know what City resources are available to them. We will meet the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant actions with New York values.”
“This is a deeply troubling time for families in our immigrant communities, filled with uncertainty and fear of deportations,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, who leads the City’s mental health and substance misuse efforts. “New York City stands with Dreamers and all residents regardless of immigration status. And, the presence of more than 200 volunteers underscores the fact that help is here. Immigrant communities are a vibrant and fundamental part of our city and country's social fabric and we stand with them.”
“The termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is complete affront to American values and the important contributions immigrants have made to our country,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Dreamers are Americans in every sense of the word and while the Presidential Administration continues to toy with the lives of these young people, the New York City Council will continue to stand up all immigrant New Yorkers and help lead the way on local immigration reform.”
“As the ultimate city of immigrants, it is our duty to uphold the eternal values of inclusion and empathy symbolized by Lady Liberty at the New York Harbor,” said Richard Buery,Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “By standing with Dreamers, we protect the promise that anyone can make it here if they work hard and strive for greatness – a promise that afforded my immigrant family a chance at a better life. All 30,000 Dreamers are part of our family and we care about your well-being. If you are suffering with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issues, resources are available, regardless of your immigration status. This is and will always be your city.”
“Given the counterproductive and cold-hearted leadership we have seen at the national level, it is critical for the ultimate city of immigrants to step up for our 30,000 Dreamers and make sure they have the right information and access to City resources,” said Bitta Mostofi, Acting Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “In New York City, we are also working vigorously to connect eligible Dreamers with legal services to file DACA renewal applications ahead of the October 5 deadline. Thank you to our sister agencies for working with MOIA on this Day of Action and thank you to Council Member Menchaca and his staff for their sincere commitment to immigrant New Yorkers.”
“Everyone in New York City has the right to live, work and visit free from discrimination and bias no matter what country they were born in, their immigration status, their cultural heritage or the language they prefer to speak,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Commissioner and Chair of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “Dreamers in New York City are all New Yorkers and are protected by one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the nation. The Commission will use every resource it has to protect them from discrimination and harassment in employment, housing and public accommodations. If you or someone you know is the victim of discrimination, we urge you to report it to the Commission by calling our Infoline at 718-722-3131.”
“We are a city of immigrants – they are our neighbors, our friends, our family. I am one,” said Lorelei Salas, Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs. “It is heartbreaking and flat out cruel to rescind DACA. DCA is proud to stand together in support of the Dreamers here in NYC—and across the country—and connect those who are eligible with legal services.”
Today’s Day of Action built on the City’s ongoing outreach work in support of DACA. Last weekend, MOIA led a DACA Faith Weekend of Action in partnership with Center for Faith and Community Partnerships and faith leaders in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. City staff and volunteers worked with faith leaders to give presentations on DACA, provide information and resources, connect people to immigration legal services, and facilitate advocacy.
The Mayor is a long-time supporter of DACA and, under this Administration, the City has made unprecedented investments in immigration legal services, which have aided DACA-eligible youth apply and renew their DACA applications. In addition, MOIA has led two campaigns targeting New Yorkers eligible for DACA: a 2014 campaign to boost enrollment and a 2016 campaign to encourage recipients to obtain Medicaid and access additional City benefits.
Learn more about DACA in New York City at nyc.gov/DACA.
“New York City will continue to stand with the 30,000 Dreamers who call this city home,” said Marco Carrion,Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. “We share their dreams and will fight to protect our fellow New Yorkers who are every much a part of this city as we are. We are proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and other agencies on today’s Day of Action to defend DACA.”
“As a proud immigrant New Yorker, I recognize that immigrants have always been central to the diversity and strength of New York City’s economy,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “One in three New Yorkers are foreign-born. They are good neighbors, contributing residents of our city, and we will not accept efforts to make certain immigrants second-class Americans.”
“The City is out in force today making sure every Dreamer and community member knows that eligible Dreamers should renew their DACA in the next month,” said Regina Schwartz, Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit. “There are hundreds on the streets today speaking many languages, and we will tirelessly continue outreach in communities and at doors to make sure everyone knows how to take action on DACA. NYC has the resources to help DACA recipients and we need everyone to engage and spread the word.”
“This DACA Day of Action demonstrates New York City’s unwavering commitment to over 30,000 Dreamers,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Committee on Immigration. “I thank the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and all the City agencies working together on behalf of DACA eligible New Yorkers. Direct outreach in immigrant communities is a fast and effective way to support Dreamers with information, legal services, and City resources. I stand ready to work alongside over 200 volunteers and advocates showing how much Dreamers mean to the city of immigrants and how hard we’ll work to protect them.”