The city will provide $18 million to fund adult education classes and legal services to help young immigrants in New York live in the U.S., City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other officials announced Wednesday.
The money will fund classes the federal government requires young immigrant New Yorkers to take so that they can qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The program allows immigrants to live and work in the U.S. regardless of the outcome of an immigration reform bill in Congress, provided they are between 15 and 31 years old as of June 15, 2012.
An estimated 79,000 New Yorkers are eligible for the deferred action, but some 16,000 need to enroll in an adult education program to qualify. Officials said the funding ensures more immigrants will qualify for the deferred-action program in the city, which is the first to work on the initiative.
"It's exciting to be the first city in America to make this investment in our young immigrants who, in turn, have so much to offer our city," Quinn said in a statement.
Quinn added, "we can't let the opportunity of these federal actions fall short, because we didn't do what we needed to do."
Of the funds, the city will provide $13.7 million to community-based organizations to conduct outreach and increase class size.
An additional $4.3 million will be given to the City University of New York to add seats to their classes and increase professional development.
The initiative also aims to offer more adult education classes in student's first language.
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