Immigrant Rights Fund

Brooklyn Community Foundation is establishing an Immigrant Rights Fund in response to mounting uncertainty and fear within Brooklyn’s immigrant communities, combined with troubling reports of xenophobic and racist attacks nationwide, and in anticipation of dangerous and exclusionary government policies. The fund will support both the immediate and long-term needs of immigrants in our borough and across New York City, while strengthening collaboration among immigrant-serving nonprofits.

We are committed to helping Brooklyn’s communities move from fear to strength, from trauma to healing, from division to wholeness, and from uncertainty to action.

In 2016, Brooklyn Community Foundation awarded more than $400,000 in grants to immigrant-led organizations in the borough. This new fund signals an additional and targeted investment in organizations that are lifelines to immigrant communities as their work becomes even more critical in the coming months and years. We seek to raise $1 million for the safety and inclusion of our immigrant neighbors.

Our Immigrant Communities

New York City’s immigrant population is at an all-time high, making it arguably the most diverse population in the world. Brooklyn’s increasing diversity reflects the changing face of our country and the strength new immigrants bring to our rich cultural landscape.

Brooklyn is home to nearly 950,000 foreign-born residents—nearly 40% of the borough’s population—who exhibit remarkable diversity across neighborhoods, from Bensonhurst’s Chinese community, to Mexican and Dominican immigrants in Sunset Park and Bushwick, to long-standing Caribbean communities in Flatbush and Crown Heights and growing numbers of Bangladeshi residents in East New York and Kensington. Immigrants are also significant contributors to Brooklyn’s economic strength—nearly 50% of all Brooklyn businesses are immigrant-owned.

There are upwards of 300,000 Muslims in Brooklyn, with Arab immigrants among the fastest growing immigrant groups in New York City. Recent figures indicate that over 40% of new Arab immigrants have settled in Brooklyn neighborhoods.

It is estimated that 172,000 immigrants in Brooklyn are undocumented—accounting for 7% of Brooklyn’s total population. Among U.S. counties, Brooklyn ranks 9th in total undocumented residents. Over a quarter of undocumented immigrants in the borough live with a child who was born in the United States, highlighting the potential impact deportations may have on separating parents from their children.

Fund Strategy

Through the Immigrant Rights Fund, the Foundation will support neighborhood-based, immigrant-led organizations working on the frontlines to address legal, safety, and civil rights issues. 

  • Unified Front: The Foundation will convene immigrant leaders to help us better understand the fears and concerns of their communities, gather accurate and timely information, and provide space for collaboration and shared resources
  • Emergency Grants: The Foundation will provide grants to address acute challenges that immigrant-serving nonprofits are already confronting
  • Long-Term Funding Strategy: The Foundation, in partnership with immigrant-serving nonprofits, will develop a multi-year funding and convening strategy for taking on pressing legal, advocacy, and organizing issues for the long-term

Brooklyn Community Foundation has created similar rapid-response funds in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the Haiti Earthquake in 2010. Our approach ensures that we support the most urgent needs of our communities while planning for a long-term response. 

Pledge your support to Brooklyn’s immigrant communities:

Give to the Immigrant Rights Fund today

100% of contributions will directly support vital immigrant-serving nonprofits