This year’s Affiliate of the Year Peer Exchange took place in Chula Vista, California as the Dominico-American Society of Queens (DASQ – Northeast UnidosUS Affiliate) attended the event to personally congratulate MAAC on its accolade as the affiliate of the year but also to interact with national and regional member affiliates of UnidosUS. MAAC was able to present its current situation and the challenges they were able to overcome in order to become a successful organization.





The Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty (MAAC), formerly known as the Mexican-American Advisory Committee, was founded in 1965 in the county of San Diego. Thanks to collaboration of members from the San Diego Chapter of the GI Forum, Hermandad Mexicana, Laborer’s Local #89, Association of Mexican-American Educators, and the Council of Latin American Clubs, along with other leaders of San Diego’s Mexican American community, its creation was based on a vision to provide a place where local families in need could find the means in becoming self-sufficient. Demands of daily life and unexpected events can easily push families below the poverty level. For generations, MAAC has responded to these challenges by evolving its programs to meet the needs of the community. 

Since then, MAAC has faced several uphill challenges in order to solidify its position for continual community assistance. As any other nonprofit organization faces, MAAC was no exception as they’ve faced and overcame budgetary, operational, and expansionary challenges. With offices located throughout the county of San Diego, MAAC has assisted more than 70,000 people annually providing services focused around health and well-being, housing, economic development, education and advocacy and leadership development.  



MAAC has portrayed leadership in tackling the issue of insufficient affordable housing throughout the San Diego region. Affordable housing remains a problem for millions of Americans throughout the country. As living costs continue to increase, it’s making it harder for low-income families to find decent housing. MAAC has been able to address this issue by developing nearly 1,000 units of affordable housing throughout the county of San Diego. They were able to make this possible through continued support from Councilmember of the Eight District of the City of San Diego, David Alvarez. Rent for families of low-income are adjusted based on their income providing a sense of security for themselves and their families.

More Information on MAAC Housing



MAAC’s Community Charter School (MCCS) has been a center of learning, mentoring, and inspiration for the hundreds of students that attend. It is MAAC’s effort at effectively tackling the challenges faced by many students in the area of education and leadership. The school provides an array of programs meant to engage with its students and help them grow as individuals. Despite improvements in academics, many students still face personal challenges that continue to inhibit their ability to succeed. 

Thousands of adolescents in the county of San Diego attend school in the United States to return home to their parents across the border each day. Several of them include students at the MCCS. As a Northeast Affiliate of UnidosUS, it is extremely difficult for us to directly observe the realities of the challenges faced by many of these families. To better understand the situation, DASQ traveled to and across the border to experience a partial reality faced by every student.

The US-Mexico border extends 1,954 miles from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Examining the entry port of San Diego-Tijuana provides a small perspective into the challenges faced by thousands, if not millions, throughout the length of the border.

A visual representation of separation and cultural difference was visible through border fencing that spanned as far as the eye could see as border patrol vehicles were seen stationed for border enforcement. This part of the border provided a clear division of countries demonstrating miles of barren and desert-like terrain arriving to the border on the US side but a populated and dense city just across into Mexico.

To cross the border, those attending high school and universities must take the metro to the San Isidro station and walk along a bridge that will take them straight through border control. A process that can take minutes to several hours, students then cross into Tijuana, Mexico where they says bye to their friends and classmates before hopping onto a bus back to their homes. Many will have to wake up extremely early in the morning to endure hour long waits going through US customs before jumping back onto the metro in San Isidro to get to class on time. It is a commute that impacts their academic performance and their overall well-being. 

DASQ will continue to work with organizations throughout the United States and government officials to improve their situations and those continuing to struggle in the NYC metropolitan area. 

Stay Tuned for Upcoming Stories



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It has been announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is due to terminate the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) designation to Salvadorans on September 9, 2019.

This follows the DHS decision of TPS termination status to Nicaraguans for January 5, 2019.

Affecting hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans and Salvadorans who have resided in the US for several decades, they will need to find an alternative method of legalizing their status or leave the US.

DHS has not yet reached a decision regarding Hondurans. As a result, the TPS deadline will be automatically extended for 6 months, moving the deadline from January 5, 2018 to the new date of July 5, 2018.

DHS Announcement

Decisions regarding TPS designation for other countries will be held on the following dates:

November 23, 2017 – HAITI

January 30, 2018 – SYRIA

April 25, 2018 – NEPAL

July 5, 2018 – YEMEN

July 19, 2018 – SOMALIA

March 3, 2019 – SOUTH SUDAN


Resources regarding TPS are available below:
Immi provides an online interview to help immigrants learn about options beyond TPS at The site also includes plain language Know Your Rights articles, including an update on TPS at


Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
CLINIC offers comprehensive resources on TPS for legal service providers at


U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel (OSC)
The OSC offers a flyer on Temporary Protected Status and the right to work at

Unity March for Puerto Rico

Sunday’s Unity March for Puerto Rico demonstrated the will of the people to stand together during a desperate time of need for the island. With the administration’s handling of the situation, Puerto Rico continues to remain in a state of emergency.

Power generation has dropped to about 30 percent as 91 percent of the population still do not have access to clean drinking water. The island may not be able to restore power to some regions until July 2018 making it the largest and longest blackout in United States history.

The march, however, signified much more than a protest. The Dominico-American Society of Queens, alongside several organizations and thousands of others, support a more sustainable Puerto Rico. We support that all Puerto Ricans deserve the same treatment as mainland US citizens. In comparing the US government’s response with Texas and Arizona with that of Puerto Rico’s, it is inexcusable that millions of US citizens on the island are left without sufficient water, food and power.

We also support rebuilding a stronger, safer and more sustainable infrastructure, ensuring that resources are delivered where they are needed the most, the elimination of the Jones Act, and forgiving Puerto Rico’s debt.

Our organization will continue to make efforts at addressing the situation in Puerto Rico. The support of millions of people will not end until Puerto Rico’s restoration is complete.

We thank the Hispanic Federation, Lin-Manuel Miranda and our Program Coordinator, Yanna Henriquez, in coordinating Sunday’s March.

If you would like more information on how to help, please contact us at


Click here to see more pictures

For English

La Agencia Federal Para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA, por sus siglas en inglés) y el gobierno de Puerto Rico anunciaron hoy una amplia variedad de opciones de vivienda para los residentes de Puerto Rico desplazados por los huracanes Irma y María.

Para poder satisfacer la demanda de vivienda segura, estas formas de vivienda se proveen directamente a los sobrevivientes de desastre, o a través de subvenciones financieras para asistir a los sobrevivientes con sus necesidades de vivienda.

Los sobrevivientes primero deben llenar su solicitud con FEMA para determinar su elegibilidad para cualquier asistencia federal que esté disponible. Pueden llenar su solicitud a través de:, llamar libre de costo al (800) 621-3362 (voz 711/VRS – sistema de retransmisión de video), TTY llame al (800) 462-7585, o visite un Centro de Recuperación por Desastre (DRC, por sus siglas en inglés). Los sobrevivientes pueden llamar a su municipio para encontrar un DRC que esté abierto. Los DRCs están abiertos a diario de 7 a.m. a 7 p.m.


Oct. 31, 2017 – Comunicado de Prensa

Asistencia Unificada de Vivienda

Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio

Para Español

FEMA and the government of Puerto Rico announced today that Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) is available to Puerto Ricans who are unable to return to their homes because they are displaced as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This is one of several short-term housing options being offered to meet the demand for post-storm safe housing.  Transitional Sheltering Assistance allows eligible applicants to shelter in a hotel or motel, for a limited period of time, as a bridge to intermediate and longer-term housing.  FEMA pays all costs for rooms and taxes through direct payments to participating hotels and motels.

Transitional Sheltering Assistance allows eligible applicants to shelter in a hotel or motel, for a limited period of time, as a bridge to intermediate and longer-term housing.  FEMA pays all costs for rooms and taxes through direct payments to participating hotels and motels.

For eligible applicants currently on Puerto Rico:

  • Consistent with the Governor’s request, FEMA will prioritize placements in the TSA approved hotels and motels, for the people who are currently residing in emergency shelters in order to target those most in need.
  • FEMA will be providing transportation to select locations in the Continental United States, where you will be connected with support services and lodging.  FEMA will not provide any additional transportation within the Continental United States and cannot provide reimbursement for travel arrangements you may have already made.
  • Transportation also will be provided for return back to Puerto Rico.
  • Applicants should expect that it may take several weeks to arrange transportation, given the limited availability of commercial flights.

For eligible applicants currently in the Continental United States:

  • Please update FEMA with current information by contacting 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
  • Eligible applicants may stay at any participating hotel.
  • FEMA will not reimburse for travel that already occurred, or travel to a participating hotel within the Continental United States.
  • Applicants should expect that it may take approximately one week before hotels have the information necessary for check in.
  • Applicants are responsible for identifying a participating hotel and checking for availability.


This is one of several short-term housing options being offered to meet the demand for post-storm safe housing. In order to meet the demand for safe housing, these forms of assistance are provided directly to disaster survivors, or through financial grants to assist survivors with their housing needs. Survivors first need to register with FEMA to determine their eligibility for any available federal assistance online at, by calling toll-free (800) 621-3362 (voice 711/VRS). TTY call (800) 462-7585, or by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). To find an open DRC, survivors may phone their municipality. DRCs are open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


October 30, 2017 Press Release

FEMA Housing Resources

Transitional Shelter Assistance



Like many of you, we are heartbroken by the devastation that Hurricanes Maria and Irma brought to Puerto Rico and the earthquake that left many dead or displaced in Mexico. This are difficult times for our fellow countrymen, friends and family. The Dominico-American Society of Queens is accepting  contributions to provide for those in need.

Items may include but are not limited to:

  • Batteries, Flashlights, Portable Lanterns
  • First-Aid Kits
  • Diapers, Baby Wipes and Powder Milk
  • Cases and Bottles of Water and Canned Goods
  • Feminine Hygiene Products, Toilet Tissues, Toothpaste and Tooth Brushes

Donated items must be completely unopened and packaged. We are currently accepting contributions at our location;

Dominico-American Society of Queens

40-27 97th Street, Corona, NY 11368

From all of us at the Dominico-American Society of Queens,