City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced plans that New York will spend $18 million over the next two years to help immigrants, who came to the U.S. illegally as children, to find jobs and get driver’s licenses.
On Wednesday Quinn, who is currently running for New York mayor, announced funding for adult education classes and legal services for the city’s young immigrants.
The plan stems from President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative which allowed undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday to get driver’s licenses and Social Security Cards.
New York is the only city in the country making an investment of this scale to enable immigrants to take advantage of Obama’s new program.
According to Quinn’s office, up to 79,000 New Yorkers meet the age and immigration requirements for the program, but as many as 16,000 need to enroll in an adult education program to qualify.
“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 help increase class size and professional development.