Call to Action Immigration 2022
How can you support immigrant students in NYC?
Use this symbol to show your support for immigrant students and to advocate for legislation that does the same:
Reach out to your representatives to take your advocacy to the next level:
Senate Bill SS2778 (New York State Senate)
This bill mandates that no employee of a university can determine a student’s immigration status except when required by federal law. While this bill is related to higher education, it is essential to protect students who are applying to or attending college and wish to keep their immigration status private. This allows students to go through this process without the fear of repercussions.
The bill has passed the NY State Senate but still needs to pass the State Assembly. Contact your State Assembly Member to advocate for this bill.
Senate Bill S3076A (New York State Senate)
This bill prohibits police officers, peace officers, school resource officers, probation agencies, state entities, state employees, and municipal corporations from questioning individuals regarding their citizenship or immigrant status. This would help to keep immigrant students safe from discrimination and negative legal action in the school environment and beyond.
This bill needs to pass the NY State Senate and State Assembly. Contact representatives from either body to advocate for this bill.
The New York State Dream Act allows undocumented students to qualify for state financial aid for high education, create a Dream Fund for college scholarship opportunities and remove barriers that prevented undocumented families from college saving programs. While this act passed in 2019, it has not been well publicized and so many students and families that could benefit from this program do not know that it exists.
You can reach out to any of your New York City or State representatives and ask them to publicize this program to their constituents.
Advocate for your own policy suggestions!
As we’ve seen, there are a lot of changes that could be made to better support immigrant students in New York. If you have ideas that you want to see implemented, you can contact your representatives to let them know. The job of representatives is to serve the interests and needs of their constituents so they want to hear from you on how you would make a change!
The contact information for your representatives should be on their official website. Use the links below to figure out which representative you want to reach out to:
Figure out who your Local, State and Federal representatives are here: https://www.mygovnyc.org
For New York State legislation:
For national legislation:
Or use ResistBot to find your representatives automatically:
After you’ve found your representative’s contact information, you can reach out to them by phone, over email or through web forms that are often available on their website.
Here’s a template to help you start your conversation:
Dear Representative/Mr./Ms. ___________,
If you are a F&C student: My name is ________ and I am a New York City high school student at ________ and a participant in Columbia University’s Freedom and Citizenship Program, a tuition-free civic leadership program for high school students. For the last school year, I’ve been working with my group on a project to support immigrant students in NYC.
If you are someone else: My name is _______ and I am a ________ (for example: parent of a student in New York City).
I’m reaching out to you because I’ve seen a lack of support for immigrant students within the New York City education system and I believe that this needs to change. This is especially important to me because _______ (include a personal anecdote if you’d like!).
For Senate Bill SS2778 (you can adjust this paragraph to write in support of another bill as well): I have researched ways to increase support for immigrant students in NYC, and I came to the conclusion that Senate Bill SS2778 is essential to keep immigrant students safe in higher education. This bill mandates that no employee of a university can determine a student’s immigration status except when required by federal law and would allow students to apply and attend college without fear of their privacy being violated.
I strongly urge you to support this bill if you have not already and encourage your colleagues to do the same. It would mean a great deal to me and the other students in Freedom & Citizenship.
For the New York State Dream Act: The New York State Dream Act was passed in 2019 and allows undocumented students to qualify for state financial aid for high education, created a Dream Fund for college scholarship opportunities and removed barriers that prevented undocumented families from college saving programs. This was an incredibly important step to increase support for undocumented students in New York, but unfortunately not many students or families are aware that it could help them.
I am asking you to help publicize this program to your constituents so that more students can take advantage of it and have an easier path to college.
Or advocate for your own policy changes!
Thank you so much for listening. I look forward to your support for these important changes.