What is the Immigration Strategic Funders Collaborative of Connecticut?
The Immigration Strategic Funders Collaborative for Connecticut (The Collaborative) is committed to enhancing statewide efforts and local work to support Connecticut’s immigrant families.
What does The Collaborative do?
The Collaborative seeks to increase the numbers of applicants for administrative relief, to ensure the applicants are screened for eligibility for more permanent immigration benefits and to continue to expand current advocacy work in support of stronger protections from detention, deportation and abuse. To achieve these objectives, The Collaborative will prioritize the following:
- Promoting the understanding of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and to support outreach to DACA-eligible and DAPA-eligible residents across Connecticut;
- Increasing access for undocumented immigrants to a full spectrum of immigration services, including legal services;
- Strengthening advocacy efforts at the local and State levels in support of public policy and public funding that will address the needs of undocumented immigrants and will advance the utilization of DACA and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents); and
- Enhancing the capacity of immigrant serving and advocacy nonprofit organizations through funding and through supporting the sharing of knowledge and best practices.
Who are The Collaborative’s members?
The Collaborative and its goals are funded through the institutional grantmaking processes of the following foundations: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Fairfield County's Community Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Hispanic Federation, Perrin Family Foundation, the Progreso Latino Fund (a committee-advised fund at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven) and an anonymous foundation.
In addition to these funding members, Collaborative membership includes service providers, advocacy organizations and others throughout the state of Connecticut that share the goal of enhancing the lives of immigrants, including undocumented immigrants. The Collaborative is currently working with the following organizations:
What’s at Stake?
The integrity of the family is under attack by a broken immigration system. Using data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the authors in a ColorLines report “calculated that 15 percent (or 101,900) of migrants removed at the border between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2012 were parents of a U.S. citizen child. The report estimates that as many as 202,000 American children were separated from a parent through border removals.” The ColorLines report also estimated that over 5100 children were in Foster Care, with the U.S. government ending their parental rights for life upon their parent’s deportation.
People’s lives are at stake. Fear and pain is real in Connecticut. Unaccompanied immigrant minors from Central America were in the news in July 2014 as advocates pressured the Governor to allow Connecticut to be their home. The Obama Administration has targeted the immigration raids that commenced in late December 2015 to focus on these very same minors who just turned 18 in Connecticut and others like them across the Country. Advocates from Connecticut, including CIRA (Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance) members, went to DC and to the Hartford Federal building in April and May of 2016 to protest these deportations, noting that it was equivalent to returning people to a death sentence, citing a report produced by a social scientist at the San Diego State University identifying as many as 83 deportees to Central America from the U.S. were killed in less than a few months or even weeks upon being deported (source: obama-immigration-deportations-central-america- Oct 2015).
How many People in Connecticut were Expected to be Impacted by the President's Executive Orders on Immigration?
There are an estimated 7,000 DACA 2012-eligible immigrants in Connecticut who lack DACA’s important protections. In addition, it is estimated that approximately 14,000 more Connecticut residents would have qualified for DACA benefits if the program was expanded in accordance with President Obama’s 2014 Executive Actions, and that 26,000 additional residents would have qualified for DAPA as well. (Source: DataHaven)
What Can Be Expected now that the Supreme Court has not upheld President Obama’s Executive Orders?
Without the expansion of DAPA, many U.S. born children will feel the threat of their undocumented parent(s) facing deportation and could have all ties to their parents severed by the U.S. court system as in the case of the existing 5,100 U.S. born children in U.S. foster care in 2012. For the time being, DACA-eligible recipients from the 2012 Executive Action may obtain support from a trained nonprofit staff person or volunteer to obtain DACA or renew their DACA status. If the nonprofit staff member is working in a BIA-recognized institution and is an accredited individual, he or she can provide the individual with guidance on how to fill out the immigration application. If staff is not BIA accredited or part of a BIA-recognized institution, they can refer the individual to one of the many options in Connecticut that have increased as a result of The Collaborative’s collective work.
Community members should share knowledge on what the individual rights are for all immigrants including undocumented immigrants. Trainings will take place, through the support of The Collaborative, in the summer of 2016 to engage community members and to continue mobilizing for immigration reform. In 2012, DACA came to light as a result of community mobilizing and the efforts will continue and grow with the support of The Collaborative.
What are the Resources in Support of Immigrant Families During These Difficult Times?
Over 7,000 DACA eligible recipients from the 2012 Executive Action may obtain support from a BIA-accredited nonprofit staff person or volunteer at a BIA-recognized organization in Connecticut to obtain DACA or renew their DACA status. DACA clinics will also be held by trained community navigators who can pre-screen for eligibility. To view DACA Clinic dates for those screenings, please view the CIRA Facebook page. (CIRA and the training of the community navigators were funded with the support of members of The Collaborative and implemented by CT Students for a Dream and other partners.)
For other immigrants who qualify, assistance may be provided for U.S. naturalization applications and other immigration related needs or a referral can be made to a trusted immigration attorney.
Where are the BIA-Recognized Organizations and BIA-Accredited Individuals?
is updated by the Federal Government and will reflect summer 2016's additional BIA-related resources due to the work and funding from The Collaborative’s members:
- Junta for Progressive Action and Spanish Community of Wallingford have applied for Recognition in 2016;
- A minimum of an additional 15 new Board of Immigration Appeals accredited. individuals will offer support at a BIA-recognized nonprofit agency.
What are the Rights that Immigrants have Regardless of Status?
The Collaborative is committed to community members knowing their rights, regardless of their immigration status. Trainings will take place in the summer of 2016, through the support of The Collaborative, to engage community members and to assure that they know their rights in situations when they are approached by an Immigration Enforcement Officer. Dates will be announced during the first week of July for three trainings that will take place in the three counties (Hartford, Fairfield and New Haven).
What You Can Do:
- Continue mobilizing and sign a petition supporting Unidad Latina en Accion’s petition to stop deportations.
- Attend or coordinate a rally or press conference in your city/town such as:
Unidad Latina en Accion’s on June 23 at 5 PM at US Court, 141 Church St. New Haven
Junta for Progressive Action’s Rally on June 23rd at 5 PM on the corner of Grand Avenue and Ferry St in New Haven
- Encourage individuals impacted by the lack of immigration relief from deportation to join a local CIRA organization, Connecticut Students for A Dream, or CONECT to not face fearful times alone but find collective strength and mobilize for change. The 2012 DACA came to light as a result of people coming together and mobilizing. The efforts will continue and grow with the support of The Collaborative.
CIRA (Coordinating statewide advocacy efforts for immigration relief and sharing with member agencies from various sectors across the State of Connecticut)
CONECT (Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut – faith-based)
CT Students for a Dream (immigrant student access and immigration relief)
Unidad Latina en Accion ( workers rights, immigration relief)
- Donate time or funding to one of our Collaborative members in support of their important work. For a list of members and for more information on The Immigration Strategic Funders Collaborative of Connecticut, visit www.cfgnh.org/ISFCC