Mayor Lee Announces Funding to Strengthen San Francisco’s Immigration Action
City Ready to Implement President Obama’s Executive Action to Help Undocumented Immigrants Come Out of Shadows & Access City Services Including Pathway to Citizenship
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced significant new funding to ensure San Francisco can quickly implement President Barack Obama’s Executive Action to provide relief for undocumented immigrants. The President’s Executive Action could potentially impact up to 12,000 undocumented immigrants in San Francisco, and Mayor Lee has authorized $500,000 in new funding for the Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) to strengthen Citywide efforts to implement Administrative Relief actions and committed to fund both the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative and the DreamSF Initiative through 2019.
“As the son of immigrant parents, this issue is personal to me,” said Mayor Lee. “The President’s bold action on immigration has set the course, and now we must follow through. Most of the nation’s 12 million undocumented immigrants live in America’s cities, and so as Mayors we must lead the way and provide all of our residents with hope, opportunities and the services they deserve.”
Mayor Lee today joined over a dozen U.S. Mayors for an immigration summit in New York City convened by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to focus on coordinating and sharing expertise for the implementation of President Obama’s plans to act on immigration. The Mayors also discussed the road ahead and strategies to push for comprehensive immigration reform.
San Francisco is a long-time leader in immigrant rights, with substantial investments promoting citizenship, providing access to City services for speakers of other languages and providing leadership on issues such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Unaccompanied Immigrant Children.
Mayor Lee’s announcement of $500,000 in new funding for OCEIA will strengthen these efforts to administer the President’s Administrative Relief. Immediately after the President announced his Executive Action in November, Mayor Lee issued an Executive Directive to ensure San Francisco’s full compliance with new Federal rules to make sure undocumented immigrants living in San Francisco would be among the first to benefit from Federal and State programs in addition to local services already in place. The City will provide outreach and education in appropriate languages to make sure people understand the process and know their rights, in a culturally competent manner. The City has already developed strong relationships with immigrant legal, social and community service providers, philanthropy, and a vast network of partners to engage the communities impacted by the President’s Administrative Relief.
In addition to the new $500,000 in funding for OCEIA, the Mayor also announced continuation of funding for the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative and the DreamSF Initiative. Mayor Lee today committed to extending the funding through June 2019 from the Human Services Agency (HSA) for the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative to help San Francisco immigrants apply for citizenship. The funding was set to expire in 2015. An innovative public-private partnership, the Pathways to Citizenship Initiative benefits not only those who will become citizens, but also the communities in which new citizens live, work, and contribute – by lowering poverty rates, increasing economic mobility and access to higher education, ensuring greater access to affordable health care, enhancing civic participation, and creating stability and cohesion for immigrant families.
Mayor Lee today also committed to extending funding from the Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) to the DreamSF Initiative through December 2019. In 2012, OCEIA initiated the DreamSF Program, providing more than $350,000 in annual grants to support outreach, education, legal services and application assistance to eligible youth for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. This year OCEIA expanded the DreamSF program to include leadership development, skills building and employment.
The City has already translated vital information related to the President’s Executive Action as well as Mayor Lee’s Executive Actions into several languages (Chinese, Spanish, Filipino and Russian).
For more information on the Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs, go to: http://www.sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=957.