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West Coast immigrants' rights groups pan President Trump’s new immigration proposal as “elitist.” Also on the Friday rundown: Consumer advocates want stronger energy-efficiency standards. And we'll take you to a state that ranks near the bottom for senior mental health.

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NC Groups Receive Infusion of Funds to Assist "Dreamers"

"Dreamers" in North Carolina are in need of prompt legal help and, in some cases, emergency assistance as they navigate the end of DACA. (El Pueblo)
"Dreamers" in North Carolina are in need of prompt legal help and, in some cases, emergency assistance as they navigate the end of DACA. (El Pueblo)
September 25, 2017

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – As the futures of young immigrants in the DACA program hang in limbo, a North Carolina foundation is providing funds to groups helping them navigate the uncertainty.

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has created a DACA Rapid Response Fund, dividing $100,000 among eight organizations to support legal, education and emergency planning services as DACA permit holders seek to renew their permits or find other immigration assistance.

After funding immigration work for 15 years, James Gore, the foundation’s program officer, says it was an obvious step to helping the 27,000 people in the state potentially affected by the Trump administration's decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

"As an organization, as a philanthropic organization, which the root of philanthropic is love of humanity, we felt that there was an important charge at this point in time to try to provide some rapid response money to local organizations," Gore explains.

The funds will support El Centro Hispano in multiple North Carolina counties, El Pueblo in Wake County and the North Carolina Farmworkers Project, among others.

According to the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, ending DACA could cost North Carolina more than $10 billion over the next 10 years.

Gore says while Washington has made immigration a partisan issue, that isn't how his organization sees it.

"This is not a political issue,” he insists. “It's not a partisan issue. It's a humanitarian issue.

“These are people who are part of our communities and, as an organization that believes in the American dream and the promise of America, these are people who correspond with that."

DACA participants whose legal status expires on or before March 5 of next year have until Oct. 5 of this year to renew their legal status for another two-year period.

An estimated 6,800 young people in North Carolina fall into that category.

Reporting for this story by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest. Media in the Public Interest is funded in part by Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC