For the past few years, the integrity of our immigration processes has largely been disregarded. And just this week, recent reports of a pilot program to DNA test families seeking refuge along the US-Mexico border take the discriminatory and cruel practices migrant families are faced with to another level. While plans to expedite deportations of immigrants already settled into communities within the country persist, The Foundation knows this: efforts to separate families and create fear may be unfolding swiftly, but together, we have the power to create safe, affirmative and prosperous environments for immigrant communities.
The pressure these new policies place on grassroots and immigrant service organizations like many of our grantee partners is insurmountable. Yet despite the heightened challenges and consistent attempts to tire the spirits of those working to keep immigrant families together and secure their futures, the leaders of this movement remain unafraid and even more steadfast in their commitment to service. At The Foundation, we are eager to match that courage with action and support, and uplift the efforts of those fighting day in and day out for women, families and immigrant communities across New York City.
Organizations like The New York Immigration Coalition have been leading the charge in the #DriversLicensesNOW campaign, which seeks to ensure undocumented immigrants in New York do not have to live under the constant threat of deportation or detention for minor traffic violations. It’s especially important to remember the impact this current climate has on queer and trans communities who are undocumented, as many of them have already faced unthinkable violence in fleeing their home countries for their identities. Grantee partners like The New York City Anti-Violence Project support these communities with direct services as they seek asylum in New York City—a practice that takes immense resources and is increasingly becoming more difficult to win in New York.
At The New York Women’s Foundation, we recognize that immigrant communities are the cornerstone of this nation, and we must use our collective power to protect our most vulnerable from lingering threats to their health, safety and economic prosperity.