The state Assembly is making three grants totaling $450,000 available to take advantage of the federal government’s deferred action program for illegal immigrants who arrived as children. The grants of $150,000 each will go to the New York State Immigration Action Fund and the New York Immigration Coalition; Make the Road NY; and Legal Services NYC. In each case, the grants will be used for young immigrants to apply for deferments under the U.S. Office of Homeland Security’s program allowing them to apply for work and study permits for up to two years without fear of deportation. Homeland Security will begin to accept applications for the program tomorrow.
The Assembly grants are designed to help potential applicants negotiate the qualification process for the program. “With the implementation of this policy, it is critical that we get information out to our immigrant communities, so that people will know who is eligible for deferred action,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said in a statement yesterday announcing the grants.
Marika Dias, managing attorney for Make the Road NY, said giving young immigrants and their families accurate information about the program will help many avoid being preyed on by unscrupulous people who would exploit them while offering guidance through the process.