Immigrant Rights Fund

Pledge your support to Brooklyn’s immigrant communities:
Give to the Immigrant Rights Fund today

100% of contributions directly support vital immigrant-serving nonprofits


Brooklyn Community Foundation established the Immigrant Rights Fund in late 2016 in response to mounting uncertainty and fear within Brooklyn’s immigrant communities, combined with reports of xenophobic and racist attacks nationwide, and the creation of dangerous and exclusionary government policies. The $1-million Fund is designed to support both the immediate and long-term needs of immigrants in our borough and across New York City.

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. 

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. 

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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. Immigrants are also significant contributors to Brooklyn’s economic strength—nearly 50% of all Brooklyn businesses are immigrant-owned. 

It is estimated that 164,000 immigrants in Brooklyn are undocumented—accounting for 7% of Brooklyn’s total population—and upwards of 22,000 Brooklyn youth are DACA-eligible. 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.

Explore more data on Immigrants in Brooklyn

Fund Strategy

Many of our grantees are small and led by members of their community, and are therefore unlikely to attract the kind of resources large national nonprofits do. While we do make strategic investments in larger organizations especially those that can advocate for systems level change, it is our local giving that is so effective: We know our community well and the organizations that keep it safe and strong. 

To date, the Fund has deployed $425,000 through three types of grants:

Immediate Response Grants

Executive Order on Immigration: In January 2017, the Foundation announced nearly $100,000 in grants to support the critical response of 8 local nonprofits to challenges triggered by the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on immigration. These Immediate Response grants support the following organizations that are defending the liberties of immigrant individuals and families as well as promoting the safety and strength of our communities: 

  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • Arab American Association of New York
  • Arab American Family Support Center
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration
  • Brooklyn Defender Services 
  • DRUM, Desis Rising up and Moving
  • Make the Road New York
  • Jews for Racial and Economic Justice

On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced its decision to end the DACA program, which has given more than 800,000 young people nationwide the freedom to work, advance their education, and build a future in the country they’ve long called home—especially here in Brooklyn where more than 22,000 youth are estimated to be DACA eligible. In response, we deployed $50,000 to enable advocates here in Brooklyn to fight back and protect our Dreamers. Funds will help provide urgent legal aid for 2-year DACA renewals before the October 5th deadline, which require a $465 filing fee per reauthorization request, as well as legislative advocacy around the DREAM Act and the American Hope Act:

  • Make the Road New York
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • Atlas: DIY

​Termination of TPS: In November, the Trump Administration announced that it would end Temporary Protected Status for 60,000 Haitians nationwide in 2019. Brooklyn has the largest concentration Haitians second to Miami:

  • Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees 

Read about each of these grants

Sustained Response Grants

Grants are aimed at long-term challenges, including increased threats of deportations that would separate parents and children, as well as continued funding for advocacy and organizing.

  • $20,000 for Atlas:DIY
  • $15,000 for the Community Healthcare Network 
  • $15,000 for Unlocal, Inc. 
  • $10,000 for Brandworkers
  • $20,000 for Sanctuary Families Project at the Center for Family Life 
  • $20,000 to Faith in New York 
  • $10,000 to New Sanctuary Coalition
  • $10,000 for Safe Horizon’s Immigration Law Project 
  • $20,000 for Churches United for Fair Housing
  • $20,000 for Womankind
  • $15,000 for Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
  • $10,000 for Emma’s Torch

Read about each of these grants

Action Fund Grants

The Action Fund of the Immigrant Rights Fund is designed to support ongoing civil resistance and organizing efforts—including community-building, public education, action planning, and event logistics—with grants up to $2,500.

  • Arab American Family Support Center 
  • Black Alliance for Just Immigration 
  • New York Communities for Change
  • OCA-NY Asian Pacific American Advocates 
  • The New American Leaders Project 
  • Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services 

Read about each of these grants

Ongoing Funding Opportunities

Sustained Response and Action Fund grants are made on a rolling basis. Learn more at

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

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