Public Statements


En Español

Prepared By  
Rev. November 21, 2016

Catholic Charities has long welcomed immigrant families, protected vulnerable refugees, and assisted the undocumented, unaccompanied minors, and day laborers--in a way that respects their humanity, and recognizes the value they bring to our communities of work, of family, and of faith.

Over the past months, President-Elect Donald Trump has expressed his intention to make changes to some of the policies and programs that affect immigrants and refugees. This has created a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in our communities. While we do not know, at this time, what the new administration will do, the following information addresses a few important issues and includes resources to be aware of:

All Immigration questions and referrals
NYS New Americans Immigration Hotline
operated by Catholic Charities
Monday-Friday, 9 AM to 8 PM

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

  • President-elect Trump has indicated an intent to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) when he becomes President on January 20, 2017. We do not know if this will happen.
  • We do not recommend filing a first time DACA application at this time, but DACA recipients can continue applying to renew their status. We believe renewals are less risky than initial applications. If you have been arrested or convicted of an offense since you obtained DACA, consult with a reputable attorney before you file a renewal application.

Non-Citizens with Criminal Convictions

  • President-elect Trump has talked about deporting 2 to 3 million non-citizens with criminal convictions when he assumes office. It is not at all clear if and how he would do this, and many people who might be affected would have a chance to bring their case to court first. You should contact a reputable attorney or legal services provider for advice if you have a criminal conviction and are concerned about its effect on your case.

You Have Rights

  • You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to speak to immigration agents or to the police, and you do not have to sign anything without first speaking with an attorney.
    • You only have to give your name and address.
    • You do not have to give your country of birth or country of citizenship/nationality.
    • Do not lie or give incorrect information.
    • Say only “I won’t answer any more questions until I have an attorney.” Then stay silent!
  • Do not open your door and do not let the police come in unless they have a search warrant.
  • City agencies are not supposed to ask about your immigration status, unless it's necessary to see if you qualify for certain benefits.
  • Find and keep handy the number of your consulate so you can call it if you are arrested.

Plan Ahead

  • Make an emergency plan in case of detention and deportation.
  • Appoint someone to take care of your children.
  • Leave copies of identity documents (passport, birth certificate, etc.) with someone you trust.

Helpful Resources

Beware of Fraud

  • Only lawyers, and BIA-Accredited representatives who work for charitable organizations, can give legal advice.
  • Never pay a "notario", travel agent, or tax preparer to help you with immigration forms.
  • Filing the wrong application is not only a waste of money -- it could put you in deportation proceedings.

Don't get scammed, get help:

If you think you have been cheated by a legal provider, or for help finding a free or low-cost legal representative, call the New York State
New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.