BTNY's Response to Immigration Policies

Dear Breakthrough New York Family,

During the past months, all of us at Breakthrough New York (BTNY) have discussed, ruminated, protested, and sometimes despaired over recent developments in U.S. immigration policy and practices. The recent executive orders issued by President Trump continue to demean and to divide; policies and practices such as these are an affront to our common humanity. Additionally, the recent and worrisome activities undertaken by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in our community and around the country affect the daily lives of many of our BTNY families.

I want you to know we stand with you.

Breakthrough New York will always be a safe and nurturing space for all members of our community.  Our role as educators and advocates is to bring people together to create stronger, more empowered communities. There are no disclaimers, no exceptions, and no limitations.

And while current circumstances present new and urgent challenges, what we believe and who we are is not new.  Our Core Values have not changed. We will continue to be courageous in doing what is right and necessary. But right now, we are called to step forward to object to policies and government action that conflict with our fundamental values, especially when these actions violate the basic human rights we hold dear.

The very foundation of the nonprofit sector is to embrace and empower people and communities who have been historically marginalized. Last month, I joined hundreds of other leaders in signing an open letter to President Trump to express our disagreement with the targeted and discriminatory restrictions on immigration and to reiterate our belief that “Diversity is the lifeblood of social, economic, and political progress, and policies that impede this value weaken our ability to innovate and implement social change.”

We are here for you. That will never change. While we are not able to offer you legal advice, please call us at 646-747-BTNY with any concerns or questions you might have. I’ve listed some resources below; we will continue to share information and provide a safe space for our students, families, and staff.

Yours in solidarity,

Rhea Wong
Executive Director
Breakthrough New York


Legal Aid Society 212-577-3300
Legal Aid Society Immigration Hotline 844-955-3425
Immigrant Defense Project
Immigrant Justice Corps
New York Legal Assistance Group 212-750-0800
Catholic Charities Community Services Immigration & Refugee Services 212-479-3700
Association of the Bar of the City of New York 212-382-6629
Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC) of Washington Square Legal Services, Inc., at NYU Law School
New York State New Americans Hotline 1-800-566-7636
New York Times Information on Travel Ban
Legal Aid Society Information Flyer - English
Legal Aid Society Information Flyer - Spanish