June 27, 2019 By Shane O’Brien
A Long Island City-based non-profit group that supports undocumented families separated by ICE at the border has received $20,000 in funds from State Sen. Mike Gianaris’ office.
Immigrant Families Together (IFT), an organization set up by Long Island City resident Julie Schwiertert Collazo, celebrated its one-year anniversary Monday night at Alewife Brewing Co. in Long Island City. The $20,000 in funding was presented to the group the same evening.
IFT was set up in response to the Trump administration’s tough immigration policies and to help provide bail for parents who have been separated from their children. The goal of the organization is to reunite families and help them immigrate .
So far, the organization has posted bail for 70 adults who had been separated from their children as a result of ICE detention and has raised close to $1 million in donations.
Gianaris’ funding will go toward the legal work carried out by the organization.
In a statement, Gianaris thanked IFT in its work supporting immigrant families who had experienced trauma.
“Immigrant Families Together does incredible work helping people seeking a better life, like generations of Americans before them,” Gianaris said.
Schwiertert Collazo said that the group was grateful for Gianaris’ donation as legal fees are one of the group’s biggest expenses each month.
“While we enjoy immense support of New York City’s Mayor’s Office and its Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, Bitta Mostofi, outside NYC, our legal costs grow exponentially each month as pro bono counsel availability shrinks,” said Schwiertert Collazo.