George Soros has been a prominent international supporter of democratic ideals and causes for more than 30 years. His philanthropic organization, the Open Society Foundations, supports democracy and human rights in more than 100 countries. Now, the Open Society Foundation’s Emma Lazarus II Fund has officially granted $100,000 to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (CFGNH) on behalf of the Immigrant Strategic Funders Collaborative for Connecticut (The Collaborative) for the period that began on November 1, 2015 and continues through December 31, 2016.
The Collaborative aims to provide matching funds to enhance statewide efforts and local work supporting Connecticut’s immigrant families.
The Collaborative seeks to increase the numbers of applicants for administrative relief under these programs, to ensure the applicants are screened for eligibility for more permanent immigration benefits and to continue to expand current advocacy work in support of stronger protections from detention, deportation and abuse.
The grant comes as the organization prepares to move forward with implementation of both Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), under President Obama’s 2014 Executive Actions. Officials indicate that to achieve their objectives, The Collaborative will prioritize the following:
- Increasing access for undocumented immigrants to a full spectrum of immigration services, including legal services;
- Promoting the understanding of DACA and DAPA and to support outreach to DACA-eligible and DAPA-eligible residents across Connecticut;
- Strengthening advocacy efforts at the local and State levels in support of public policy and public funding that will address the needs of undocumented immigrants and will advance the utilization of DACA and DAPA; and
- Enhancing the capacity of immigrant serving and advocacy nonprofit organizations through funding and through supporting the sharing of knowledge and best practices.
Thus far, eight leading funding institutions in Connecticut have expressed their intentions to commit financial contributions in support of the Collaborative goals utilizing their institutional grant-making process. Those organizations include Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Hispanic Federation, Perrin Family Foundation, Progreso Latino Fund (a committee-advised fund at CFGNH), Tariq Farid Foundation and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
Officials say that the success of The Collaborative will depend largely on the partnerships it can build with service providers, advocacy organizations and others throughout the State of Connecticut that share the goal of enhancing the lives of undocumented immigrants. The Collaborative is working with a growing list of organizations, with further additions anticipated. Among those thus far:
- Apostle Immigration Services (New Haven)
- Center for Latino Progress (Hartford)
- City of New Haven
- City of Hamden
- Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (New Haven and Bridgeport)
- Connecticut Parent Power (Statewide)
- Connecticut Students for a Dream (Statewide)
- Elm City Internationals (New Haven)
- Hartford Public Library (Hartford)
- International Institute of Connecticut (Statewide)
- Junta for Progressive Action (New Haven)
- Neighbors Link Stamford (Stamford)
- New Haven Legal Assistance Association (New Haven)
- Unidad Latina en Acción (New Haven)
- Yale Law School Worker and Immigrant Rights Clinic (New Haven)