New York’s well-heeled philanthropic groups are doling out big bucks to resist President Trump’s immigration policies and defend targeted social welfare and environmental programs.
The Brooklyn Community Foundation created a $1 million Immigrant Rights Fund to support “civil resistance” efforts to battle Trump’s executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim majority countries and to aid illegal immigrants who fear deportation.
The first batch of $100,000 is being been awarded to seven not-for-profit advocates — including the NY Immigration Coalition, Arab American Association, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Brooklyn Defender Services.
Meanwhile the New York Community Trust/New York Foundation, with $2.4 billion in assets, launched the “Liberty Fund” to help New Yorkers who “find themselves in greater fear of hate crimes, deportation, discrimination, arrest and poverty.”
The funding includes $261,000 to the group Human Right First to provide legal help to immigrants in deportation proceedings and $100,000 to NY Immigration Coalition.
The Trust also said it will fund programs to advocate for health care, social safety net and environmental programs that it worries will be “under assault” in the Trump era.
For its part, the Brooklyn Community Foundation said it’s addressing the needs of borough’s immigrant-rich population, which is nearly 40 percent foreign-born. Many are from Mexico as well as Arab-Muslim countries.
“We have an obligation to bring humanitarian response and human response to all Brooklynites, whether or not they have correct documentation or papers,” Brooklyn Community Foundation president Cecilia Clarke told The Post. “There’s a very significant undocumented population. People fear their families will be divided.
There is a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety.”
“Do they have a right to go school? Yes. Should they get health care? Yes. What the immigration status is is not my concern.”
Clarke said one of BCF’s board members suggested creating a special immigrant rights fund just a few days after Donald Trump’s election, anticipating the incoming president would follow through on his campaign pledge to curb immigration.
The foundation has $60 million in assets.
“It’s very much a new initiative and very much a response to the new election,” she said.
Clarke said Trump’s executive order on immigration — set aside by the courts for now — set off alarm bells and has been met with “overwhelming resistance across Brooklyn’s communities”
In its February newsletter, NY Community Trust spoke of its commitment to “all New Yorkers ” and president Lorie Slutsky urged donors to support those who feel marginalized by Trump.
“How can I make a difference? We heard that question repeatedly in the past year, as campaign rhetoric heated up against environmentalists, immigrants, civil libertarians, and even those with disabilities,” Slutsky said. “At The Trust, we focus on improving the quality of life for everyone who lives, works and studies here. We’re resolved to make sure our city remains a beacon for all who believe in equity and respect.”
Trump has repeatedly maintained that he’s only cracking down on illegal immigration — particularly undocumented residents who’ve committed crimes — and tightening up screening to prevent terrorists from reaching U.S. soil.
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