Advocates Rally For Continued Support of NYC Immigrant Student and Early Childhood Programs

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Livestream available here

New York—Today, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), elected officials, member organizations, allies, parents, students and immigrant New Yorkers rallied and held a press conference on the Tweed Courthouse steps. 

Advocates rallied to make New York’s public schools more accessible and equitable for immigrant youth and families, including for asylum seekers. For FY25, the City must invest:

  • $25 million in Promise NYC for childcare for immigrant families.
  • $4 million for the Immigrant Family Communication and Outreach Initiative for New York City Public Schools’ communication with parents who speak languages other than English.
  • $800,000 to increase the number of high schools well-prepared to teach and support  immigrant and recently-arrived asylum seeker youth.

"Data from my office shows that the number of children and young people living in shelter in NYC has more than doubled since January 2022 largely due to newly arrived asylum seekers,” said NYC Comptroller Brad Lander. “As a City, we should be increasing our support for new New Yorkers, not ending programs that serve English Language Learners (ELL) and immigrant students. Immigrant families need child care that provides safe enriching spaces for their children so they can work to build new lives here. Schools must be able to help newly arrived parents navigate enrollment, homework, vaccinations and so much more. This is why we urgently need sustainable funding for programs such as Promise NYC, Immigrant Communication & Outreach, and ELL transfer schools." 

“It is imperative that we invest in our schools so that they are truly capable of meeting English Language Learners,' needs and helping them realize their potential and dreams," said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. "A high school education is invaluable and opens countless doors in students’ future. We must equip these 16 transfer and high schools with the tools and staff to ensure that ELL students have the resources and opportunity to succeed." 

“New York City is a city of immigrants and we need to meet that reality with the necessary resources. Everyone deserves a shot at a dignified life and the mere $800,000 in services we’re asking for play a critical role in supporting immigrant youth and families, giving them a fair chance to thrive here,” said Council Member Alexa Avilés, Committee on Immigration Chair, District 38.

With the recent influx of asylum seekers, it is essential for this administration to provide adequate funding to support the newcomer immigrant youths”, said Council Member Christopher Marte, District 1. These children should be able to take advantage of all that New York City Schools have to offer and become assets to the community. The NYIC Education Collaborative must be backed in their efforts to make sure all asylum seeker children are being provided with high-quality education. I am proud to stand alongside NYIC as they make education in New York City accessible for all.”

Our proud city boasts a large immigrant community, which shares with us a wealth of rich cultures and diversity. Unfortunately, many immigrant families cannot access the resources necessary to help them thrive in NYC, for fear of risking possible citizenship. Programs such as Promise NYC ensure that no child is left behind and provide social services that can uplift and empower a community that is so integral to our success. From child care and educational services by Promise NYC, Immigrant Family Communications, and Project SOARING, to the Specialized ELL Transfer programs, we look to helping all our immigrant NYers, regardless of their situation,” said Council Member Eric Dinowitz, District 11. 

“This coalition launched Promise NYC to end the exclusion of immigrant families from child care programs," said Council Member Shahana Hanif, District 39. "Over the past two years, this program has been a lifeline for newly arrived and long-time immigrant New Yorkers alike, providing parents a safe place for their children to go while they work. The Administration should be proud of this transformational program, but instead they proposed completely eliminating the program in the Executive Budget. I am proud to uplift Speaker Adams’s call for a $25 million investment in Promise NYC and fully support the suite of education priorities highlighted by NYIC.”

“All New York City families deserve affordable childcare and a quality education for their kids. But the Mayor’s continued emphasis on a short-sighted austerity budget will hurt all working families, especially immigrant families who are struggling with the cost of childcare and ensuring their students have the support they need to succeed. Now, the City Council must prioritize the well-being of New York families and students, to ensure our education system sets all students up for success in the future. We are calling on the City Council to continue its commitment to Promise NYC, the Immigrant Family Communication and Outreach Initiative and English Language Learner programs. When we invest in our immigrant families and students, we invest in New York’s future,” said Kesi Gordon, Senior Manager of Education Policy, New York Immigration Coalition.

"Investing in the education of immigrant and asylum-seeking youth is critical for the future of our city. Transfer schools like Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day School show us that with proper resources, English Language Learner (ELL) students can thrive. We urge the City Council to expand ELL programs and support these students. Additionally, we stand in full support of Promise NYC, the Immigrant Family Communication and Outreach Initiative, and comprehensive English Language Learner (ELL) programs. Immigrant students deserve good schools and the chance to succeed. Let’s ensure every student has the opportunity to contribute to New York's diverse and vibrant future," said Husein Yatabarry, Executive Director, Muslim Community Network.

“It is unacceptable that essential programs for immigrant families in New York City public schools continue to be on the chopping block in Mayor Adams’ budget. While nearly half of New York City public school students come from immigrant families, our school system still struggles to give those from immigrant and limited English proficient backgrounds the support they need to succeed. While the Department of Education has relied on temporary federal COVID-19 relief funds to sustain essential education programs like the Immigrant Family Communication and Outreach Initiative in recent years, those funds are set to expire this summer – leaving these programs at risk of ending. CACF urges Mayor Adams and New York City Council to fully restore and protect the funding for these indispensable programs. We must ensure that every child, regardless of their background or circumstances, has the opportunity to thrive in a supportive and inclusive educational environment,” said Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung, Co-Executive Directors, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF).