Boston-area Companies Step Up to Provide Financial Relief for Dreamers Seeking DACA Renewal by October 5 Application Deadline

Nearly $6 million in grants will support local efforts to increase attainment beyond high school

September 26, 2017

BOSTON – Sept. 26, 2017 – Several local companies are stepping in to provide initial corporate funding for a program facilitated by The Boston Foundation to assist local beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in paying for their renewal filing applications. Under the Trump Administration’s current phase-out plan, DACA beneficiaries whose legal status was set to expire on or after September 5, 2017 and on or before March 5, 2018 must apply to renew their enrollment in the program before October 5, 2017. The announcement comes in response to concerns raised by local nonprofit organizations witnessing the anxiety and hardship compounded by the October 5 application deadline.

There are approximately 19,000 dreamers currently living in Massachusetts, with several hundred impacted by the October 5 deadline. To cover applicants’ filing fees, leading companies Eastern Bank, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Arbella Insurance have provided up to $65,000 in initial funding to The Boston Foundation, which will facilitate grants to the community organizations assisting renewal applicants. The City of Boston’s Office of Immigrant Advancement is conducting outreach to local nonprofit partners to generate awareness for the program as they work with DACA applicants facing an intensive application process.

"We know how important DACA has been for thousands of Bostonians. After the administration decided to revoke this program, we have repeated the call for comprehensive immigration reform and worked with partners throughout our city to step up and support those affected,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Eastern Bank, Harvard Pilgrim, Arbella and the Boston Foundation's generous initiative to address the economic barrier to renew DACA for those who are eligible will go a long way in helping these Americans, their families, and their employers maintain stability until a real solution is achieved."

Under the program, any DACA applicant who is eligible to renew and faces financial hardship due to the compressed time frame is eligible for reimbursement. The Boston Foundation will assist in soliciting additional funds as needed.

“At The Boston Foundation, we devote our resources to building and sustaining a prosperous city and region. That prosperous city is reliant upon the thousands of dreamers who call Massachusetts home,” said Paul Grogan, president of The Boston Foundation. “We’re grateful to our corporate partners and the City of Boston for their swift action in joining with us to provide relief for DACA renewal applicants.”

Eastern’s $25,000 commitment is an extension of its ongoing work to support immigrants in the communities it serves. The bank recently awarded $1.5 million in grant funding to nonprofits supporting immigrants across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Eastern reached out to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Arbella Insurance as trusted partners, and both companies stepped up. The organizations are looking for others to join in this support.

“Eastern Bank is proud to partner with the City of Boston, The Boston Foundation, and our colleagues at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Arbella to make this very important program possible,” said Bob Rivers, Chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank. “As current events continue to threaten immigrant communities, especially dreamers, we are more committed than ever to supporting them and helping them tackle the increasing obstacles they face today.”

Organizations that are interested should call 617-338-3112.