Regarding Recent Executive Orders on Immigration
The Child Center of NY is proud to serve one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the nation. We offer programs in 22 languages—to clients who come from all over the world, and by staff that often hail from the very same countries as those they serve. That is why we have taken so personally President Trump’s recent executive orders to implement major changes to immigration policy. Although billed as simple enforcement provisions, the changes are wide-sweeping, and I understand that many of you—our clients, staff, and people throughout the community—are concerned for yourselves, your families, and people you may have known for years.
We have created this page to help you navigate through this uncertain time. Here you can find updates on the situation, news about what we are doing to help, and links to useful resources that range from finding free legal assistance to explanations of your rights.
So many of us at The Child Center of NY are immigrants, have immigrants in our immediate families, or provide support to foreign-born clients. This is the fabric—a beautiful patchwork quilt—of what truly makes us a social impact organization with a steadfast commitment to improving the lives of children in New York City. We know that no matter where you “come from,” you love your children and want what’s best for them. We will help you achieve that, regardless of where you, or they, were born. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or think you or your children can benefit from the services we provide. You will always be safe with us, and you can count on us to keep at this good fight, together.
What do President Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration mean to me and my family?
In the first week of his presidency, President Trump signed three executive orders regarding immigration policy.
On January 25, he signed executive orders authorizing the immediate construction of a border wall with Mexico, and beginning aggressive efforts to find and deport unauthorized immigrants. The Trump administration states that the priority is finding and deporting illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a criminal offense, as well as those who have been accused of any crime, even “where such charge has not been resolved.” While that is the stated priority, undocumented immigrants who have no criminal record may also be affected.
Please note that these orders are being carried out by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency officials; New York City officials, including the NYPD, will not ask about your immigration status.
President Trump’s January 27 executive order on immigration, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals,” applies to individuals with a visa from the following seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE U.S. IF YOU ARE FROM ONE OF THESE COUNTRIES. If you are from a Muslim-majority country, please seek legal advice from an immigration attorney before exiting the U.S. The order, as written, banned admission to the U.S. for the next 90 days and suspended entry of refugees to the United States for 120 days. It bans Syrian refugees indefinitely.
While the situation keeps changing, this is the essence of the original executive orders. Please see the rest of the updates listed here for the latest information. If these executive orders affect you or your family, we encourage you to call 311 and say “Action NYC” for an appointment for free, safe immigration legal help. You can also visit the American Civil Liberties (ACLU) website for a clear, concise resource called Know Your Rights When Asked About Immigration Status.
The Department of Homeland Security issued two memos that expand on previous deportation policies. The new instructions direct agents to identify, capture, and quickly deport any undocumented immigrant they encounter, though those who have been convicted of a crime are still the priority, and children who were brought to the U.S. as children will still be protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In addition, immigrant parents and family members (both legal and undocumented) who pay to have children illegally sent north may be considered accomplices to human smuggling and trafficking and could face deportation and/or criminal prosecution. The memos also increase the ability of local police to help in immigration enforcement.
While this has the potential to affect many undocumented immigrants, the program faces fierce resistance from many states and sanctuary cities, including New York, where Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged the city’s cooperation in cases involving “proven public safety threats,” but vowed that “what we will not do is turn our N.Y.P.D. officers into immigration agents.”
U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least six states, including New York, in a series of raids. Officials insist that these raids are “routine” and target only known criminals. It is true that some undocumented individuals with no criminal record also were arrested, but in much smaller numbers.
February 3 and 10
On February 3, a federal judge’s order halted the travel ban, and the Department of Homeland Security announced it has suspended all actions to implement the executive order. On February 10, judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the suspension of the ban. This means that for now, travel should be able to continue as if the executive order had never been issued.
The White House issued updated guidance to clarify that legal permanent residents—those with a green card—do not require a waiver to enter the United States. While this means that those with a green card are essentially “exempt” from the travel ban, we still recommend that such individuals seek legal advice before leaving the country.
You can safely contact any of the below resources for answers to your immigration questions, regarding immigrants of any country or status. These resources are here to help you.
- 311 If you are concerned about how the President’s order may affect your or a family member’s ability to remain in the U.S. or travel, call 311 and say “Action NYC” for an appointment for free, safe immigration legal help.
- The New York City Department of Education The DOE website includes a page called Supporting All of Our Students. You can visit this page for frequently asked questions and other resources that may help you with questions about your children’s right to education, your family’s right to services, and where to go for help. http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/schools/SupportingAllStudents.htm
- The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs This City office is charged with promoting the well-being of immigrant communities. Visit its website for valuable information, including a one-page flyer called “Resources for New York City Immigrants,” which is available in several languages. http://www1.nyc.gov/site/immigrants/index.page
- Immigrant Defense Coalition The Independent Democratic Conference, made up of eight New York State Senators, has created the Immigrant Defense Coalition to provide legal services from partnering immigration organizations. The Coalition is offering immigrants and their families one-on-one assistance related to visas, green cards, deportation, and questions about the impact of the new Administration’s policies. You can access these services by calling the Coalition’s hotline at 1-800-213-6385, or by visiting or calling the office of a participating State Senator, including District 13’s Senator Jose Peralta at 718-205-3881.
- ACLU/NYCLU The American Civil Liberties Union has taken the lead on legal challenges to the executive orders. You can visit the New York Civil Liberties Union (the New York affiliate of the ACLU) website for information on requesting legal assistance or for its many resources, including Know Your Rights When Asked About Immigration Status.
- Legal Aid Society You can call the Legal Aid Society’s newly established immigration hotline at 844-955-3425. Legal Aid attorneys are reachable in various languages to assist families who have an immediate ICE detention case, questions about their rights, or other pressing immigration concerns. Legal Aid also issued an emergency plan fact sheet in several languages to help communities prepare in case of detention and deportation of a family member.