Bilingual helpline volunteers are the first point of contact for immigrant friends making an initial outreach to UIDN. From there, callers are connected with the UIDN teams best able to address their needs. In October, the Helpline fielded 24 new inquiries.

Volunteers fluent in both Spanish and English are needed to:

  • Join our helpline. Nic Abramson, 845-706-5500,
  • Assist families in filling out applications for local resources. Helaine Meisler, or 914-466-0100.
  • Translate materials (English ↔ Spanish) so we can share resources and essential information, about education, health, legal rights, politics, and the like. Helaine Meisler, 914-466-0100 or

Transportation and Accompaniment

Before Covid this was one of UIDN’s most active services, helping many friends each week to keep appointments at immigration hearings in NYC. Now the helpline usually gets four to five requests each month for rides to the Bronx to deal with ankle bracelet problems or for appointments with attorneys or doctors.

Federal Courts remain closed through November 13. In view of the  resurgence of the pandemic we do not foresee them reopening until after the first of the year. Meanwhile, there is growing concern that ICE will soon be searching out more recent asylum seekers and “expediting” their deportation – meaning that some would not be allowed to appear before a court.

On a happier note, now that NY state has reinstated the right of even undocumented immigrants to apply for drivers licenses, UIDN is collaborating with Worker Justice Center to create a series of  webinars to help our friends prepare for licensure, especially for the written test. Click the green image on this page to see one one of the videos or view it in Spanish here.

Paying the Bills

Last month we thanked dozens of our neighbors who have volunteered to do the work of UIDN. There are dozens more who have not been named and we welcome new recruits here for the ongoing work. Much has been accomplished and, as of yet, UIDN has never had a payroll.

Through September 2020 we spent $182,000 on direct aid to our immigrant friends and only $9,000 on administrative expenses. Individual donations and events accounted for $103,000 of income; another $106,000 came from grants. The needs of the community we serve will be with us for a long time so our search for funding is constant.

Thankfully UIDN has a great fundraising team and a growing list of grantors who share our values and have funded our efforts, often more than once. Episcopal Charities is a constant support. The New York Community Trust, Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley, Vassar College, and the City of Kingston are also among those who keep us going. Still others support UIDN with in-kind gifts or by helping our immigrant friends we refer to them.

And we don’t forget that nearly half our financial resources, like all of our labor time, arrives as individual gifts from you the readers of the UIDN UPDATE. Thank you!

That’s All for October from UIDN UPDATE

This newsletter goes out to over 1200 UIDN volunteers, friends, and donors. To comment or recommend topics, email

You can donate to UIDN here; volunteer applications are here; and back issues of UPDATE are here. You can also follow UIDN on Facebook and Twitter.

Lara & Matt of The Ark-Tones

Fundraising continues even during the pandemic. For instance, Lara & Matt of The Ark-Tones (shown here before covid) did a virtual house party for UIDN.

Get reacquainted with UIDN’s Website

As long as you’re here, check for updates.  We’re constantly updating to be sure visitors have the most current policy information, news, and resources. When UIDN adds a service, program, or event, we share it on the website.

For instance, we’re working on a new section devoted to developments, actions, and resources related to affordable housing in Ulster County.

We do the research to update you and help make UIDN successful and we welcome story ideas and questions.

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