City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) passed his first bill as primary sponsor in the Council last week as the body approved a measure requiring the city Administration for Children’s Services to protect immigrant children in the foster care system.
“Immigrant children deserve the same rights as everyone,” Dromm said in a statement. “This bill will help children in ACS supervision get access to the immigration services they need. We must ensure that children who qualify are given the opportunities they deserve, including the ability to be put on a path towards citizenship.”
The bill seeks to ensure the children eligible for Special Immigration Juvenile Status are identified as quickly as possible and are receiving all the appropriate benefits. Undocumented children eligible for this status are eligible to apply to become permanent residents and obtain a green card.
Dromm warned that without a dedicated plan for immigrant services, once a young person turns 21, he or she becomes ineligible for the special status and also loses the opportunity to take full advantage of various services available to lawful U.S. residents.
“The Council finds that the creation of a new plan within ACS is necessary in order to create an accurate and efficient identification and tracking system in order to coordinate immigration services so that ACS can meet its obligation to protect immigrant children in the child welfare system,” the bill reads.
Dromm’s Council district covers parts of Community District 3, where 64 percent of the population is foreign-born, and Community District 4, where 57 of the population was born outside the United States, according to ACS figures.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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