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Mayor Walsh announces City of Boston grants for DACA/DAPA outreach and education

March 9, 2016

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

The funds come from an $80,000 match grant from the Emma Lazarus II Fund of the Open Society Foundations, with matching funds of $25,000 each from four local foundations: the Boston Foundation, the Fish Family Foundation, theHerman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation, and the Hyams Foundation.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston has received $180,000 in funding for theDACA/DAPA Outreach Initiative through the Emma Lazarus Local Challenge, which will provide community outreach and education on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

The funds come from an $80,000 match grant from the Emma Lazarus II Fund of the Open Society Foundations, with matching funds of $25,000 each from four local foundations: the Boston Foundation, the Fish Family Foundation, theHerman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation, and the Hyams Foundation.

"I am excited that these grants will make the Boston DACA/DAPA Outreach Initiative possible," said Mayor Walsh. "I have supported President Obama's sensible executive actions on immigration, and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to expand upon our efforts to ensure that Boston families have the information and assistance that they need to continue to contribute to our great City." 

"This funding provides much needed support for a priority in many of our immigrant communities," said Alejandra St. Guillen, Director of the Mayor's Office of New Bostonians. "Many of our community organization partners have already been doing some work on this issue. Now, we have an opportunity to build a structure to coordinate and to increase DACA and DAPA outreach, education, and screening services."

"Nobody understands the benefits immigrants bring-economically, culturally and socially-better than the cities where they live," said Ken Zimmerman, director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations. "We are pleased to partner with the city of Boston, which is taking a leadership role in informing its longstanding immigrant communities about protections available to them under the law-efforts which will help them further contribute to the life of the city. We also applaud the local foundations for their involvement, and look forward to working with them to help  strengthen the infrastructure of support for immigrant communities in Boston over the long run."

"The Hyams Foundation has had a long-standing commitment to Boston's diverse immigrant communities," said Beth Smith, executive director of the Hyams Foundation. "Along with our three local funding colleagues, we are pleased to support the Mayor's Office of New Bostonians' response to a national funding opportunity while remaining committed to broader and more permanent immigration reform that allows for these vital populations to continue contributing to our city. We appreciate Open Society Foundations' partnership in this important work as well as the Boston Foundation, Miller Foundation, and Fish Family Foundation."

The DACA/DAPA Outreach Initiative will consist of a program coordinator in the Mayor's Office of New Bostonians (MONB) and provide $100,000 in grants to 21 community organizations to inform Boston's immigrant communities, provide eligibility screenings, assist with applications when they become available, and prevent scams. These community organizations will convene onMarch 31, 2016 to develop and coordinate a plan of action.

The following organizations will be partnering with the City of Boston on this initiative:

Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)
Agencia ALPHA
Asian American Civic Association
Brazilian Women's Group
Brazilian Worker Center
Catholic Charities of Boston
Centro Presente
Chelsea Collaborative
Dominican Development Center
East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC)
Gilbert Albert Community Center
Immigrant Family Services Institute
Irish International Immigrant Center
Latinos Unidos en Massachusetts (LUMA)
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI)
Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR)
St. Mark's Community Education Program
Students Immigration Movement
Tabernacle Baptist Congregation
True Alliance Center    

After President Obama's announcement of executive actions on immigration in November 2014, MONB launched a "Know the Facts" Campaign which involved coordinating community organizations, staffing an information hotline, publishing materials, giving community presentations, and holding a screening clinic event to educate the public, serve those who might benefit, and prevent scams. MONB has also co-hosted events assisting those eligible for the 2012 version of DACA with their applications and renewals. In May 2015, Mayor Walsh wrote an op-ed and held press conference at Faneuil Hall to further voice the importance of expanded DACA and DAPA to Boston's eligible immigrant communities.

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016, Mayor Walsh joined 117 mayors, county executives, and local governments, as well as the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities in submitting an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the executive actions on immigration in United States v. Texas, the lawsuit that has led to a preliminary injunction preventing the implementation expanded DACA and DAPA.