It has been an incredibly destabilizing time for many immigrant communities across New York City and the nation. So many families have questions about how to keep their families together and their children safe. Our Early Childhood staff organized a Know Your Rights teach-in for families that have children in our pre-k services, which was graciously led by Favio Ramirez-Caminatti, the executive director of El Centro NYC.
Families in attendance walked away knowing the implications of the latest federal immigration orders, what a warrant looks like, and that they could connect with Children’s Aid staff if they needed any further help. Our mission is to ensure that children, youth, and families are in the best possible position to realize their tremendous potential. If their immigration status threatens that, we’re going to do our best to connect families with the resources they need.
We would like to thank Favio and El Centro NYC for helping us inform our families, and our Early Childhood staff for organizing the event. We’ve included some tips and information packets below. Please feel free to use and share the resources below as needed.
Have a plan.
Identify family members or friends who can step in as caretakers or guardians, should the situation arise. If you can, also be sure to update any of your children’s documents at your consulate. Do not present false documents. Be sure to keep all important documents together in a safe place at home in case of emergency.
Talk with your children.
As difficult as it may be to discuss the current climate, try your best to explain your plans with your children, from how to deal with possible immigration officials coming to the home to those surrounding guardians who might need to take care of them should the situation arise. It may be more disorienting to keep them in the dark about any major changes that may occur. Children and youth are not responsible for things that are unfortunately out of their control.
Keep your children in school.
If your child attends a Children’s Aid site or program, remain assured that they are safe in our classrooms. That assurance also applies for all DOE buildings. We want them to continue to thrive in school, so make sure they attend school every day.