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Parent holds a sign at a rally reading 'Quiero participar! I want to participate!'

Immigrant Students & English Language Learners

AFC’s Immigrant Students’ Rights Project provides direct, 1:1 assistance to immigrant families navigating the NYC public school system. We represent immigrant students and parents in special education cases; help parents enroll their children in effective English Language Learner (ELL) programs; and assist older immigrant youth in finding appropriate schools. We also provide tools and information to parents on how to address problems in their children’s schools such as bullying. AFC does not consider immigration status when deciding whether to help you.

We combine our leadership in the field of public education advocacy with our in-depth knowledge of the needs of immigrant students, students learning English, and their families to improve educational opportunities for this population.

In addition to our direct service work, we also provide free workshops for parents and professionals on their rights in school, working closely with immigrant-serving community-based organizations to strengthen their ability to assist families as they navigate the public school system.

  • Meet our team

    Rita Rodriguez-Engberg

    Project Director

    Diana Aragundi

    Assistant Project Director

  • Carlos' Story

    Carlos quickly proved himself to be an eager and hardworking student, even referring other immigrant youth to AFC for help navigating the education system.

    Carlos wearing school backpack
  • Cheick's Story

    Cheick arrived in the U.S. on his own at age 16 and enrolled in high school, but was told—illegally—that he had to leave and transfer to a high school equivalency program.

    cheick in cap and gown on graduation day
  • Jonatan's Story

    With AFC's support and his older brother's advocacy, Jonatan was able to enroll in school and work towards his diploma

The Latest


Save Key Education Programs Funded with Expiring Federal COVID-19 Funds

The NYC school system has been using temporary federal COVID-19 relief funds for critical education programs, including bilingual teachers and translation & interpretation services, but the funds will run out in 2024 and there's no plan for what comes next. Help us call on elected leaders to continue these programs.

Guides, tip sheets, and educational resources

Find more know-your-rights resources, available in multiple languages, in our resource library

Webinars, workshops, and trainings

AFC provides free workshops and trainings for parents, students, and professionals