De Blasio Seeks to Boost Immigration Services in New York City

  • New York forms $7.9 million initiative across all boroughs
  • ActionNYC will provide immigrant legal advice, application aid

New York City will expand legal services for immigrants as the federal government fails to act, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The ActionNYC program will create community hubs across the five boroughs where immigrant New Yorkers can receive information and legal support and get help preparing applications. The $7.9 million initiative will be funded through the executive budget and in partnership with the City Council, de Blasio said in a statement Monday.

The mayor, a self-described progressive and the first Democrat to run City Hall in 20 years, said ActionNYC represents the largest investment by a municipality to prepare for nationwide action on immigration. As federal legislation has languished, some states and cities have sought to implement their own policies. New York’s will be a model, de Blasio said.

“New York City’s commitment to our immigrant communities will not waver,” de Blasio said in the statement. He announced the program at the National Immigration Integration Conference in Brooklyn. Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, was scheduled to speak at the gathering this afternoon.

Immigration has become part of the national security debate, with some Republican presidential candidates connecting the issue to an increased risk of terrorism. Democrats have sought to protect immigrant rights and push for a legal path to citizenship.

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