e-book The Citizen’s Guide to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) (Citizens Guide to Federal Agencies)

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We also work with children fleeing to the United States from loss, persecution, trauma and extreme poverty in their native lands. Through our Unaccompanied Children Program and a remarkable team of three dozen dedicated legal service providers, we work to ensure that all these children have access to legal support and representation. Along with all of America, we have been appalled in recent days at the stories and images of the conditions that immigrant children, including babies and toddlers, have been subjected to after crossing our borders seeking asylum.

The most basic needs and protection of these children are threatened at a time when they need care and support more than ever. This includes some of the funding for legal services for these vulnerable children, including for children being placed in Emergency Reception Centers. At a time of high uncertainty, we are using every means possible to ensure that the services given by our legal service providers continue unimpeded. We believe these services should be provided under our contract as well as under law.

You should not sign any document without speaking to your attorney. If you want to find your family member or loved one being detained, contact the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office. You may also contact your Consulate.

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Lastly, you may contact individual detention centers. For more information you may contact the Detention Watch Network website. More information and non-legal support for detainees and families: Families for Freedom, For more information about detention, visit the website for the Detention Watch Network at www.

The New York State Governor is able to grant pardons to remove some of the consequences related to a criminal conviction. For immigrants who are documented such as green card holders or undocumented, a pardon can help to prevent mandatory deportation or bar to lawful status. Any person who has been convicted of a criminal offense or violation in New York State can apply for a pardon. A gubernatorial pardon does not guarantee in every case that there will no longer be any immigration consequences.

Even a pardon cannot entirely eliminate certain offenses for immigration purposes.

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Nevertheless, a pardon may remove a criminal bar to lawful status for an undocumented person, or eliminate either the risk of deportation or mandatory deportation for a documented person with a criminal conviction. To apply for a pardon, you must gather as much information as possible that demonstrates why a pardon should be granted. This information includes:. Or scan and email your application package to the following address: PardonsAndCommutations doccs.

Immigrant Rights and Services : Office of the New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer

If you obtain a pardon from the Governor, you must take additional steps to prevent deportation. One of the steps you should take is to file a proof of pardon to the court where your immigration proceedings are taking place. Many important services and benefits are available to all people, regardless of immigration status. Some of these services are for emergency needs. The services listed below are available to all people, including undocumented immigrants. The following are some benefits that only U.

Cash Assistance is the New York City program that provides monetary assistance to eligible low-income families to help them become independent. Public Housing is government-owned housing that is available to certain low-income families and persons. Section 8 Housing Vouchers are benefits that help a family pay a portion of their rent.

U.S. Immigration: A Primer for State Policymakers

Only certain low-income families qualify for Section 8 Housing, and only certain landlords accept Section 8 vouchers. For more information on housing, please refer to the Housing section page Medicaid is a program that helps with medical costs for people with limited income and resources. For additional information, please contact the Medicaid Helpline at It can be used to access programs and services from City government, to enter City government buildings including schools , to interact with NYPD police officers, to open checking accounts at certain financial institutions, and to obtain many other benefits.

Applications must be signed by hand and submitted in person. They cannot be submitted online. To make an appointment, call or go to www. Applicants must provide proof of identity and proof of residency in New York City. Many different kinds of documents are accepted as proof of identity and residency. Cards are valid for five years from the date the application is approved.

The application process is accessible to people with limited English proficiency and people with disabilities. The City will not ask applicants about immigration status in accordance with Executive Order The following are government health insurance programs for which many immigrants may be eligible:. All immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, who are New York State residents are eligible for:. All children, regardless of immigration status, are eligible for public health insurance if their families are eligible based on income.

In general, undocumented immigrants and non-immigrants temporary business, student, medical, and tourist visa holders are not eligible for Family Health Plus or Medicaid, except in emergencies. To be eligible for Medicaid and Family Health Plus, an immigrant needs to be in one of the following categories:.

A person who is not proficient in English has the right to meaningful language assistance in most health care settings. Federal and State law requires hospitals to take reasonable steps to ensure limited English proficient LEP persons receive language assistance such as skilled interpretation services and translations of significant forms, instructions, and information to ensure effective communication with all patients.

CAB members provide a vital perspective on the development of facility plans and programs, and interact with community groups, local officials, and facility administration. Every person aged 5 to 21 living in New York City has the right to attend a public school for free until he or she graduates from high school, regardless of immigration status.

Every child has the right to attend kindergarten starting in the year he or she turns 5.

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Students and parents are not required to give their immigration status to a New York City public school. In addition, interpreters must be available at parent meetings and orientations. If a parent does not receive required translations or interpretations, the parent may contact their parent coordinator, school, the Department of Education DOE Division of Family and Community Engagement, or an advocate for help.

What Rights Do Refugees Have?

It is generally inappropriate to use children as interpreters in many education matters. However, parents who apply for a variance sometimes may not get the transfer. For more information on how to choose and apply for schools, visit www. For all high schools and some middle schools, students are not assigned to zoned schools but go through an application process and have some school choice. If a student does not have all required documents for registration, the school must still immediately allow the student to attend school.

The school must then try to obtain the additional documents. For more information about such programs, you may contact the Department of Education at , visit www.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Students of all ages may also be eligible for free or reduced public transportation fare, depending on how far they live from school. Many students in public schools are eligible for free or reduced price meals. To get this benefit, families must submit the appropriate application available at each school. Parents meeting certain income requirements can obtain child care for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old.

Child care can be provided at group child care centers or in the homes of licensed providers.

Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children

Many child care programs are available to children regardless of their immigration status. Families receiving Public Assistance or leaving Public Assistance within the last 12 months may be eligible for child care vouchers through HRA. Students who are learning English may be required and entitled to take bilingual education, English as a Second Language ESL , or other programs. ELL programs include:.