Home / Media / ePiñata / December 22, 2016

As Nation Debated, HF Doubled Down on its Commitment to Immigrants

One need only have tuned into any news channel during the presidential race this year to see how much the issue of immigration was central to the national political conversation in 2016. For the most part, that wasn’t a good thing. Not only did this campaign season feature vitriolic and duplicitous arguments about immigrants in the United States, but also a virulent strain of nativism seemed to reappear in America. In response, Hispanic Federation redoubled its local and national efforts to promote immigrant integration.

“This year, we heard it all when it came to immigrants and immigration,” said Hispanic Federation's Director of Immigration Fryda Guedes. “A big part of the problem was that national political leaders and candidates were advancing deeply troubling narratives about immigrants that scuttled any chance for advancing just immigration reform in our nation’s capital.”

We knew we needed to make a difference and so we doubled down on our immigrant assistance work in 2016, helping uplift 40,000 immigrants in the process. Here are just some examples of our multi-pronged approach to immigrant integration this year:

Days of Action: HF hosted 14 Immigrant Days of Action with its community and media partners to help tens of thousands of immigrants obtain needed services, including DACA application support, citizenship assistance and legal help.

Hispanic Immigrant Integration Project (HIIP): In partnership with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Hispanic Federation provided nearly 10,000 immigrants across eight states with citizenship assistance, family-based petitioning and application support for deferred action from deportation and work permits. An additional 34,000 individuals received information and/or referrals as part of this effort.

Immigrant Opportunity Center: HF partnered with New York State to create an Immigrant Opportunity Center and work with a consortium of immigrant service providers to help new Americans fully participate in the civic and economic life of the Empire State. Over 200 individuals received intensive ESL instruction, with nearly 80 percent reaching 100 hours of instruction.

Scholarships for DACA Applications: We provided over 100 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) scholarships to immigrant youth to help apply for work permits and deferred action from deportation. Through this initiative, HF worked with community-based organizations and member agencies to help screen eligible candidates and cover the $465 DACA Application Fee.