Get the Facts
Over 5,000 undocumented youth ages 14-24 live in San Francisco.
Source: Coleman Advocates 12/2014
President Obama introduces long term plan for naturalization of undocumented immigrants
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What is SF4TAY.org?
SF4TAY.org improves outreach to transitional age youth. This comprehensive, searchable resource directory allows young adults to easily access information in order to connect with local resources available to them. Services in workforce, education, housing, wellness, advocacy and recreation are listed on one central site.
SF4TAY.org is a project of Transitional Age Youth San Francisco (TAYSF) and the Citywide Transitional Age Youth Advisory Board (CTAB).
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|TAYSF NOTE on Immigration and Undocumented Youth:
There are nearly 4.4 million undocumented youth living within our nation, According to the Migration Policy Institute, California is home to over 26% of the undocumented youth alone - roughly 1 million youth. In San Francisco, the undocumented youth population is estimated at 5000.
With the recent influx of youth from Mexico and Central America, there has been more awareness on the political and economic conditions that have sparked this massive migration. Foreign trade policies such as NAFTA and CAFTA have drastically reduced the economic vitality within these areas while sparking violence and crime. When these youth do manage to leave unstable environments, they then risk the dangers of travelling across the border, immigration detention centers and border vigilantes.
Several community based organizations have taken the responsibility of advocating for these youth by raising awareness of their needs at all levels of government and within the communities. Organizations such as CARCEN, Educators for Fair Consideration and SFILEN have taken the initiative to assist undocumented youth and their families by providing and providing resources such as legal representation.
Fortunately, San Francisco has been a pioneer in creating the infrastructure to provide services to immigrant families and immigrant integration for decades with the passing of the City and County Refugee (“Sanctuary”) Ordinance in 1989, the establishment of the Immigrant Rights Commission in 1997 and the creation of the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) in 2009.
In 2013, Mayor Ed Lee launched the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative, a long-term partnership between the City, local foundations and seven community based organizations that promoted citizenship and civic participation. With the introduction of the affordable care act, the city will be designating their health program, Healthy San Francisco for undocumented individuals who would otherwise be unable to receive medical care. The Mayor has just released an executive directive detailing the City’s next steps in Immigration reform. You can access it here
For youth in particular, the SF Summer Jobs+ program was opened up to provide opportunities for undocumented youth with paid training and work experience being provided by LYRIC, MEDA and CHALK. OCEIA has also created DreamSF to support access to legal services for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process as well as leadership development training for immigrant “DREAMer” youth.
Recently, Mayor Lee approved an additional $1.1 million in public funding to help undocumented immigrants access health care and other services under President Obama's recent executive action on immigration. In addition, the Mayor has designated $200,000 to the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative, authorized $500,000 in new funding for the Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) to strengthen Citywide efforts to implement Administrative Relief actions and committed to fund both the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship Initiative and the DreamSF Initiative through 2019. We hope the efforts to make San Francisco a sanctuary city for undocumented youth and families continues.
We thank the Mayor and his staff for their leadership and dedication to ensure that San Francisco is welcoming to all.
Glenn, Jose-Luis, Daisy, Mia and Jessica
“The greatest nations are defined by how they treat their weakest inhabitants..”- Jorge Ramos
Feature Article: Immigration Reform, Promises and Perils
What are some of the barriers your organization encounters when serving undocumented or immigrant youth?
I would have to say the main barrier is their immigration status. Many youth come to CARECEN for case management or mental health services. Most are in need of housing and emancipation asisstance. Their status prevents us from being able to provide the essential services they need. Secondly, the overall resources needed to do the work. Funding for incentives and leadership development is very key in supporting retention. Many of these youth have needs that take a while to resolve. Funding usually covers one year, but it may take anywhere from 3 years to get a youth to a stable place in their life. Current immigration policies, language access and educational attainment become barriers as well. However, staff here at CARECEN are well equipped to manuever around these barriers. At times the stress that staff have to deal with can hinder the work we are trying to do. Having to deal with vulnerable populations exposes staff to vicarious trauma. Every time a youth is injured, deported or incarcerated it impacts all of us here at CARECEN. [Read More
Lariza Dugan Cuadra, Executive Director,CARECEN
From Undocumented Youth to Unafraid Advocate
What prompted your family to migrate to the US?
My parents unlike a lot of folks in Mexico, both graduated from college with degrees, they came to the US for job opportunities, my dad is a certified vet, my mom has a major in business and with that it was very hard to find jobs. Even with a degree you’re not guaranteed a job. They saw that here there was more opportunity. They were stuck in the social hierarchy which dictates if your poor your going to stay poor, if you have money you’re going to stay with money. When they came they only wanted temporary life, but they saw there was much more opportunity and want 1 out of every 100 primary school students gets into college.
Luis Avalos, District 7 Youth Commissioner
Program Spotlight: SFILEN
The mission of SFILEN is to promote full access to social services, direct legal services, civic engagement, legalization, freedom of movement, and reunification with family and community, for all immigrants and their families, regardless of their immigration status. For more information or to contact SFILEN click here.
Scholarships, Internships, Jobs, & more for Youth and Young Adults:
BAVC & MEDA
accepting applications for paid tech training [Read more]
Young People For
is now accepting applications for the fellowship program[Read more]
accepting applications for $10,000 scholarships [Read more]
For Providers: Migration for Dummies
Many immigration reform advocates and policy makers fail to articulate the macro-level, global economic root cause of undocumented labor migration to America. This essay describes how the contradictory policies of an open border for trade (i.e., NAFTA) and a closed border for immigration result in a predictable undocumented migration bridge between the U.S. and Mexico that must be sensibly regulated for the good of neighboring countries that now share formally integrated economies, yet informally integrated populations. Implications for policy and immigrant serving social workers and other human service providers are discussed. [Read More].
|Media Coverage of TAY issues
SF Gate Teens who fled peril for U.S. get 1st Thanksgiving feast in S.F. [Read More].
New America Media SF to Provide Legal Council To Undocumented Youth [Read More] .
|Aids Awareness Month
December marks AIDS Awareness month. Within the last few years we have seen tremendous change in the rates of HIV/AIDS survival and transmissions rates. However, that does not mean the fight against AIDS is over. There are still over 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in America. About 1 in 4 (26%) of all new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24 years.According to the San Francisco Aids Foundation, there are over 15,861 indivudals currently living with the virus in the City. Young adults and teens between 13 and 29 represent 39% of new HIV infections locally, the largest share of any age group. Black teens are disproportionately affected, representing 70% of reported AIDS cases among 13 to 19-year-olds in 2010; Latino teens represented 19%. To combat the high rates of HIV/AIDS among TAY, San Francisco has invested in mobile testing clinics, housing for individuals living with HIV/AIDS, needle exchanges, increased funding for AIDS education programs and increased funding for AIDS/HIV policy advocacy organization. Recently, there has been a huge breakthrough in HIV prevention. A new drug, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a pill taken everyday for people who do not have HIV but who are at substantial risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection. It has been proven to reduce risk of infection by 92%. The San Francisco City Clinic is already offering PrEP. We hope with all the increased awareness and education as well as PrEP, HIV/AIDS will be drastically reduced within the next decade.