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New York State Dream Act

The Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act application is open!

Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, thousands more students seeking a college degree may be eligible for NYS financial aid to support their higher education costs through the New York State DREAM Act:

  • Those with certain documented and undocumented statuses, including DACA status
  • Lawful permanent residents
  • U.S. citizens

Your immigration status is kept confidential by New York State and your college under New York State and federal law. For more information, visit

Immigration helpline

The Albany County Immigration Assistance Center also offers immigration advice and support to immigrants and their loved ones.

Call the immigration helpline for assistance 1 (833) 373-2677.

Do not hesitate to leave a voicemail at any time. We will return calls in a timely fashion. 

When calling the helpline, please have the following information ready:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Date of entry to the United States
  • Manner of entry (for example: with a green card; on a temporary visa; crossing the border without documents; as a refugee)
  • Current immigration status (for example: green card holder; temporary visa holder; undocumented; asylee/refugee; Temporary Protected Status)
  • Whether person has ever been deported
  • Immigration status of family members (spouse, parents, children)

Know your rights

Haga clic para ver en espanol

In response to the current threat of deportation that many noncitizens face, the following information regarding Know Your Rights is crucial: who is at risk of ICE enforcement and what to do if you encounter ICE in your home or on the street. These infographics, courtesy of Immigrant Defense Project, are designed to equip noncitizens with the knowledge of what to do.

View all six (6) infographics

Emergency Preparedness

Disponible aquí en español

If you or a loved one are at risk of deportation, make an emergency plan which include the following important components:

  • meet with a lawyer;
  • medical needs;
  • childcare needs;
  • financial needs.

You can find sample documents including financial, health, and childcare planning documents to assist with planning for the possibility of detention and deportation.

1. Organize your personal documents:

  • Keep original identity & personal documents in a safe place. Make and store copies where someone you trust can access them if you are detained.
  • Gather immigration and criminal history documents. These will help a lawyer figure out if you have any legal defenses against deportation ("relief").
    • Immigration documents include any applications submitted to immigration or any documents showing your A# (alien number), if you have one.
    • Criminal documents: certificates of disposition from courts and/or rap sheet
  • Carry important information with you at all times, including:
    • Contact information for loved ones;
    • Contact information for school and point of contact for children;
    • Important medical information, including contact information for doctors as well as medication information (name/dosages).

2. Meet with a lawyer as soon as possible to see if you qualify for any legal defenses against deportation ("relief").

If hiring a lawyer, always have a signed contract and make sure to review the document in your preferred language. Make sure both of you sign the contract and you get a copy.

3. Plan for medical needs

  • Write down and carry important medical information with you, including contact information for your doctors and the name and dosages of any medications you take.
  • Consider allowing someone you trust to have access to your medical information in case they need it to help your legal case or so you have proper medical care if detained.
  • To do this, consider signing a HIPAA form (available in English and Spanish) giving them access to your medical files and allowing your doctors to communicate with them about your medical needs.

4. Plan for childcare needs

  • Write down and carry contact information for childcare and your child’s school.
  • Identify someone who can care for your children if you are detained. Make sure that person agrees to act as a caretaker and has the following information:
    • School location and contact information
    • Any medical conditions your child has and how to address their needs, including contact information for doctors and information on medications and/or allergies
    • Emergency contact information for other loved ones
  • Put important documents for each child in a safe place where your emergency caretaker can get them. This may include 
    • your child’s medical/school records, 
    • birth certificate, and 
    • any legal agreements you have made with your emergency caretaker.
  • Consult with a lawyer about whether to grant a loved one power to make legal decisions for your child if you are detained.
  • If you live in New York, we recommend using this form (available in English and Spanish) which allows you to designate an adult to care for and make decisions for your children. The agreement does not require you to go to court and can be revoked at any time.

5. Plan for financial needs

Consult with an expert about whether to grant a loved one power to access your finances and make financial decisions if you are detained. There is a special power of attorney form for financial matters. This legal document allows a loved one to do things like access your bank account, pick up your paycheck, pay bills, and use your money to pay bond. Learn more in Families for Freedom’s "Financial Handbook for Families Facing Detention + Deportation," April 2008.