• Support for Immigrant and International Students at LaGuardia

    The City University of New York was founded on the principle of equal access and opportunity.  LaGuardia’s longstanding commitment to welcoming, protecting and supporting our students, regardless of immigration status, has not wavered since our founding.

    We remain committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and will steadfastly continue to offer a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds. LaGuardia Community College will take any steps available under the law to protect and support our undocumented students.  

    Should you or a family member have concerns about your immigration status or safety, we urge you to avail yourselves of the resources and services listed below.

    Continue to check back on this page as information is continuously being updated.

    Recent Statements


    This week has brought announcements and headlines that contradict all we believe in at LaGuardia Community College.

    Almost 50 years ago LaGuardia was created to open the doors of higher education to all. It is who we are and what we do. Every single day students from across the globe—from 148 countries—come to LaGuardia to learn, to become inspired, to realize their dreams. Here in Queens, the most diverse county in the nation, we educate the most diverse group of students in the United States.

    We are taking important and substantive steps to make sure that our students, faculty and staff who are impacted by the recent Executive Orders are able to obtain legal assistance, financial help, access to benefits and other supports. We will ensure that harassment and intimidation, either on or off our campus, will be responded to forcefully. LaGuardia’s focus is on taking specific, concrete steps that put the needs of our students, faculty, staff and community first, and rhetoric second.

    Our work at LaGuardia is more vital than ever. We must be a place which allows people to dream, to imagine a better life for themselves and their family. We must be a place where differences can be celebrated and understood. LaGuardia is a place where different ideas and perspectives are acknowledged and debated with vigor in the context of the knowledge and wisdom inherent in an academic institution. Our campus, this beautiful mosaic of humanity, is America today, and is the culmination of our history as a nation of immigrants. LaGuardia has never been more relevant.

    We’re going to stand together and use all of our power and resources to protect our students and our community. 

    Dr. Gail O. Mellow

    On Friday afternoon, the President issued an Executive Order that suspended entry of all refugees for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and for 90 days blocked entry for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, including holders of student visas.

    While I understand it is the responsibility of the administration to keep our country safe, I believe that this Executive Order is inconsistent with the values of openness and inclusiveness that have made CUNY—and our country—great. Those of us who disagree with this policy should urge our elected leaders to change it. In the meantime, we will hold to the values that have been a source of strength at CUNY for 170 years, and we will offer legal assistance to affected members of the CUNY community who need it, through CUNY Citizenship Now, CUNY CLEAR, and other means.

    CUNY will take no action to assist in the enforcement of the immigration laws except as required by law;

    CUNY will protect student record information in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act;

    CUNY will not turnover student information to immigration enforcement authorities except pursuant to court order;

    CUNY will not requestor gather information about students’ citizenship or immigration status in the course of providing educational or other services or in connection with public safety activities except as required in connection with tuition or financial aid eligibility; and

    CUNY will not permit immigration enforcement officials to enter its campuses except to the extent required by a warrant or court order.

    Read full statement

    Legal Resources

    Green Card Holders

    CUNY Citizenship Now! provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified.


    New York Immigration Coalition: Provides list of authorized nonprofit immigration legal service organizations.

    Immigrant Legal Resource Center : Offers immigration attorneys with expertise in family-based immigration, humanitarian relief, naturalization and citizenship, immigration enforcement, and removal defense.

    Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) : Find attorneys who provide immigration services at low or no cost. 

    F1-Visas - Current Students

    LaGuardia International Student Services Office assists international students who hold F-1 visas in their cultural and educational transition to the College. The office provides advising and support services to students with immigration, academic, financial, personal and cross-cultural issues to help them reach their educational goals. 

    International Student Services Office 
    Larisa Lerner, Coordinator 
    Phone: 718-482-5145
    Email: lalerner@lagcc.cuny.edu 
    B-Building, Room B-117; Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. (closed Friday- Sunday) 


    New York State Emergency Hotline
    Governor Cuomo has established a hotline to offer assistance to refugees left in vulnerable situations at New York airports. To report loved ones who are passengers on incoming flights and believed to be missing or detained, please call 1-888-769-7243.

    CUNY Legal Resources

    CUNY Citizenship Now! provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services. Our attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified.

    CUNY students, faculty and staff from the seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) affected by the Executive Order with questions about their immigration status and/or travel abroad plans should write to Citizenship Now! at citizenshipnowinfo@cuny.edu.

    The CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility) project, housed at CUNY School of Law, primarily aims to address the unmet legal needs of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and other communities in the New York City area that are particularly affected by national security and counter-terrorism policies and practices. For free assistance, you may reach CLEAR at cunyclear@law.cuny.edu.

    See CUNY Clear's advice for individuals who may be subject to the January 27, 2017 Executive Order.


    The following organizations are actively working to protect rights and support immigrants. Visit these websites regularly for new information and guidance:

    Center for the Integration & Advancement of New Americans, Inc.
    If you need to speak with a lawyer, the CIANA organization have attorneys available to assist you with legal/immigration services, and are able to assist clients in several languages.
    31-09 Newtown Ave, Suite 411
    Astoria, NY 11102
    Phone: 718 545-4040


    Travel Advisory: For students, faculty and staff in the US from the seven affected countries, our best advice remains not to travel abroad until we have more clarity about ongoing developments in the wake of the Executive Order. 

    If students, faculty or staff are detained trying to enter the United States, or are abroad and need guidance, please contact CUNY Citizenship Now! attorney Isabel Bucaram, Esq. by text, phone call or WhatsApp at 646-860-5678.

    To assist CUNY students, faculty and staff who are impacted by President Trump’s executive order of January 27, 2017 limiting entry into the United States by individuals from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, CUNY provides the following information.

    Until further notice, we recommend that immigrant and non-immigrant students, faculty and staff from those seven countries avoid travel outside the United States. Though the Department of Homeland Security has announced that permanent residents from the seven countries will not be barred reentry, we think it prudent for permanent residents to avoid travel until the issues surrounding enforcement of the order are clarified.  

    CUNY students, faculty and staff in the United States with questions about their immigration status and/or travel abroad should write to Citizenship Now! at  citizenshipnowinfo@cuny.edu . Students can also contact their campus International Student Advisor. If students, faculty or staff are detained trying to enter the United States, or are abroad and need guidance, please contact CUNY Citizenship Now! attorney Isabel Bucaram, Esq. by text, phone call or WhatsApp at 646-860-5678.

    Read statement on CUNY’s website

    Financial Resources

    Foundation Emergency Fund (Current Students Only)

    The LaGuardia Community College Foundation offers opportunities for financial support in the form of scholarships, MetroCards, textbooks, and other emergency needs.

    LaGuardia Community College Foundation
    Phone: 718-482-5610
    Email: foundation@lagcc.cuny.edu
    E Building Room, E-508

    Single Stop
    Single Stop USA, which helps students overcome financial barriers by connecting them with federal and state financial resources, and local community services. Financial assistance can take the form of daily living expenses based on eligibility. We have FREE legal and financial counseling, free tax assistance through April, healthcare and other services. All students receive a free benefit screening.

    Phone: 718-482-5129
    Email: singlestop@lagcc.cuny.edu
    C Building, Room C-107

    Office Hours: 
    Monday thru Thursday from 9 AM to 5 PM 
    *Friday from 9 AM to 1 PM *subject to change


    On Campus
    If you are on campus and feel your life is in imminent danger, call 718-482-5555 or visit your nearest Public Safety office for assistance.

    Off Campus
    If you are feel your life is in imminent danger, call 911 immediately.

    Victim of Harassment or Intimidation

    On Campus
    If you are the victim of religious, race, or sexual harassment, there are several resources both on and off campus that will help you file a complaint.

    Christopher Carozza 
    Office of Compliance & Diversity
    Phone: (718) 482-5088
    Email: ccarozza@lagcc.cuny.edu

    New York State Hotline
    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched a toll-free hotline to report incidents of bias and discrimination across the state. The hotline will bolster the state's efforts to protect New Yorkers and allow those who are the victim of prejudice to file a complaint with the Division of Human Rights. 
    (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday

    New York City Commission on Human Rights
    The New York City Commission on Human Rights is charged with the enforcement of the Human Rights Law, Title 8 of the Administrative code of the City of New York, and with educating the public and encouraging positive community relations.

    To file a discrimination complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights, please call 311 or (718) 722-3131

    Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)
    CAIR–NY counsels, mediates and advocates on behalf of Muslims and others who have experienced religious discrimination, defamation, or hate crimes. Our lawyers work to protect and defend the constitutional rights of American Muslims, thereby supporting the rights of all Americans. 
    (646) 665-7599

    Do you still have questions about where to turn or next steps?

    You can reach out to Karen Williams, regardless of immigration status, to help direct you to appropriate resources both on campus and in the community.

    Karen A. Williams, Ed.D.
    Deputy to the Vice President, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
    31-10 Thomson Avenue, Room C-317
    Long Island City, NY 11101
    Phone: 718-349-4018 
    Fax: 718-609-2031 
    Email: kawillliams@lagcc.cuny.edu

    To reach Karen Williams 24/7 you can call her at (212) 537-6978