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Parents, advocates rally to denounce budget cuts they say will disproportionately impact immigrant kids

City agencies have until Friday to outline their plans for the budget cuts, and advocates say they'll keep fighting for asylum-seeking kids and families until the budget passes.

Shakti Denis and Adolfo Carrion

Apr 13, 2023, 9:36 PM

Updated 435 days ago


Elected officials joined parents and advocates outside of City Hall on Thursday to denounce the mayor’s proposed budget cuts that they say will unfairly impact immigrant children and their families.  
For Brenda Velazquez, enrolling her daughter in 3K was an overwhelming process. Thanks to the LIFE Project, she was able to complete the process and ensure her daughter’s education.  
“The LIFE program is small community-based institutions that have the trust of the neighborhood, that have the people that are bilingual and know how to do this entire process and kind of carry the people through,” said Carolina Tenecela, member of LSA Family Health Services.  
Velazquez joined a coalition of immigration and education advocates to demand that the city invest in resources that help immigrant families better access the city’s public education system.  
The protesters are currently demanding $75 million to hire social workers in schools to support kids from families seeking asylum, $4 million for programs helping immigrant families enroll their young children in 3K and pre-K, $3 million to help immigrants access new English Language Learner programs in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, and $1.2 million to fund a pilot program that would give newly arrived students access to transfer schools outside of Manhattan.  
These demands come after the Adams administration ordered budget cuts across all city agencies, including a 3% cut to the city’s Department of Education.
News 12 reached out to the mayor’s office and received the following response: 
“Since day one, this administration has been open and honest about the long-term, combined challenges of declining enrollment, programs funded by one-time federal stimulus dollars, and rising costs tied to unfunded mandates from the state.” 
City agencies have until Friday to outline their plans for the budget cuts. Immigration advocates say they’ll keep urging lawmakers to prioritize the needs of immigrant families and children.  

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