NEW YORK - The city's Summer Youth Employment Program works to connect young people with job opportunities and now Public Advocate Jumaane Williams wants every kid to have that opportunity, regardless of their immigration status.
He's introducing legislation along with several advocacy groups to expand the jobs program.
It allows youth to learn employment skills and get jobs working in entry level positions.
Williams says the program will operate differently so that federal policy won't stand in the way.
"We specifically set it up so we wouldn't have a file of any existing laws. This is not a job. It's more like an internship, that way you get a stipend at the end, so the payment is a little different. We even have the age range a little different. There are some differences that are uniquely set aside o that we can do this and provide the service regardless of immigration status," Williams said.
In the past, thousands of city youth couldn't access the program because they needed proof of citizenship.
The Public Advocate says the launch will make sure all city youth will be able to get the essential skills they need to be productive.