Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris Announces $20,000 for Immigrant Families Together

The National Herald

Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris at the Hunters Point Middle School graduation. Photo: Courtesy of Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris on June 24 announced $20,000 in funding for Immigrant Families Together (IFT), a Queens-based nonprofit which provides bail for parents in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and reunites them with their children. Senator Gianaris’ funding will go to support legal work performed by the organization. The Senator announced the funding at the one-year anniversary celebration of Immigrant Families Together held at Alewife in Long Island City.

“Immigrant Families Together does incredible work helping people seeking a better life, like generations of Americans before them,” said Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris. “I thank them for the work they have done helping families experiencing trauma and I am proud to support Immigrant Families Together.”

“Legal expenses are one of IFT's biggest line item costs each month. While we enjoy immense support of New York City's Mayor's Office and its Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, Bitta Mostofi, outside New York City, our legal costs grow exponentially each month as pro bono counsel availability shrinks. We are grateful to Senator Gianaris for understanding this need and identifying funding to assist the families we support with their attorney expenses,” said Julie Schwiertert Collazo, founder of Immigrant Families Together.

About Immigrant Families Together 

Immigrant Families Together was founded in Long Island City last summer as a response to the Trump administration's cruel zero tolerance policy.

Thousands of donors and volunteers from around Queens, New York, and the entire country have since contributed to this people-powered effort to raise money and post bond for more than 70 adults who have been separated from children as a result of ICE detention. Upon their release, IFT stays in touch with families to assess and assist with ongoing needs, from legal and medical to academic and social. This intense level of support has resulted in 69 of the 70 adults keeping all court appointments.