CUNY student Dreamers facing the strict Oct. 5 deadline to apply for renewal of their DACA immigration status will have the $495 application fee covered at CUNY Citizenship Now! DACA renewal events, thanks to a partnership with the New Economy Project and support from other philanthropic organizations.
The Project, which has operated a DACA loan fund since 2012, is now paying the fees outright for New York City applicants who meet income guidelines or face financial hardship. Non-CUNY students who live in New York City and meet income guidelines will also have the fee paid; others can secure an interest-free loan, regardless of income.
The Project contacted CUNY Citizenship Now! to attend most of the events and cut the $495 application checks for Dreamers – people brought into the United States as children without documentation – who meet the Project’s income and residency eligibility requirements. CUNY student dreamers who do not meet the New Economy Project’s requirements will still receive their application fee checks via alternate non-profit funders.
The checks will be made out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and as grants do not have to be paid back.
“CUNY has provided a bridge to the middle class and beyond to generations of immigrant New Yorkers,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken. “Given the current political climate, and the fear and uncertainty it has created in immigrant communities, we are doing all we can to support the thousands of CUNY DACA students. CUNY, in fact, is doing more to support Dreamers than any college or university system in the country. For that, we are grateful to the New Economy Project and other organizations throughout the city that have joined CUNY in providing a strong support network for our Dreamers, who want nothing more than to continue living, learning and contributing in the United States.”
The Trump administration announced earlier this month that it was ending DACA and barring new applications, and that anyone whose Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals work authorization was to expire between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, will have to renew by Oct. 5 to keep their status. Since then, donors, organizations and others in New York City and around the country have stepped in to provide funds to help Dreamers with the renewal fee.
At the CUNY Citizenship Now! Renewal and Screening Clinics, the New Economy Project will provide the $495 fee grants to eligible New York City Dreamers whose household incomes range from no more than $30,150 for one person to a $71,950 cap for a five-person household, or who face other financial hardship. Those exceeding the income thresholds or who do not live in NYC will be assisted at the clinic events in applying online for grants which can also be delivered quickly. Interest-free loans to cover the cost of the application fee are available to anyone in NYC, regardless of income.
A CUNY Citizenship Now! DACA Renewal and Screening Clinic – staffed by pro bono attorneys and others, and offering DACA renewal assistance and screening for eligibility for other immigration benefits – was held at CUNY School of Professional Studies on Sept. 20, and five more will be held at the following colleges on these dates:
▪ Saturday, Sept. 23, John Jay College, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
▪ Tuesday, Sept. 26, City College, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
▪ Tuesday, Sept. 26, Hostos Community College, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
▪ Wednesday, Sept. 27, CUNY School of Professional Studies, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
▪ Thursday, Sept. 28, Medgar Evers College, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Students and others attending the events will be screened for DACA renewal eligibility, and for other more permanent immigration benefits. These include Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for minors who have entered the country and not living with their parents, are wards of the state or in foster care; U visas, for people who have been victims of crimes here; asylum; and family-based petitions, for example, for those married to a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 degree-seeking students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 400 high schools throughout the five boroughs. The University offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the CUNY School of Professional Studies