New York—Today, the New York Immigration Coalition, Local Progress, and the NYC Council Progressive Caucus released a sign-on letter from 55 municipal, town, county and school district elected officials from all over New York State calling on the NYS Legislature to pass the New York For All Act before the end of the legislative session.
The New York for All Act (S987 Gounardes / A5686 Reyes) would prohibit local law enforcement and state agencies from conspiring with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Passing this law will ensure that immigrant New Yorkers can remain safe in their communities, and that New York tax dollars would not be used for cruel federal immigration enforcement. All New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, deserve the opportunity to live free and open lives, and without fear that performing everyday tasks like going grocery shopping, driving to work, or seeing a doctor could result in their or their loved ones’ deportation.
With time winding down in this year’s New York State legislative session, it is imperative that Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie show bold leadership, and allow New York For All to come to a vote. County Legislators, Town Board Members, City Council Members, School Board Members and more, from localities across New York State, are calling for action from State Legislators to ensure that their community members are safe and protected.
“We know that all New Yorkers are safer when there is trust between local police and the community. New York For All would build this trust, by allowing all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, to live free and open lives without fear of being ripped from their families at a moment’s notice. This sign-on letter is a testament to the widespread support that New York For All has across New York State—from small rural communities to the suburbs and urban centers. It is time for the NYS Legislature to act on this support, and follow California, Washington and Illinois by passing the New York For All Act. Our public safety depends on it,” said Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition.
“I’m proud that New York City has strong sanctuary laws to ensure immigrants can live without fear of ICE and CBP in our City. But these are protections that immigrants throughout our state need and deserve,” said Shahana Hanif, NYC Council Member, Immigration Committee Chair and Local Progress member. “With only a few days left in the legislative session and hundreds of asylum seekers being relocated upstate, it’s time for Albany to pass the New York For All Act. Ensuring our immigrant neighbors are free from the terror of ICE and CBP is essential to ensure every city in our state is a welcoming sanctuary to our newest neighbors.”
“I’m proud to be standing arm in arm with municipal elected leaders and immigration advocates from across the state calling for the Governor to pass the New York for All Act,” said Sandy Nurse, NYC Councilmember and Local Progress member. “This show of solidarity is exactly the leadership we need to support new migrant arrivals across New York State. We are calling on our legislative leaders at the state level to pass New York for All.”
“As a mother of a child that has many undocumented family members in New York, I understand how important it is to keep every Rochester family together. Our kids need to be able to focus on school and their personal growth, without the constant anxiety of family separation looming over them. And even though Rochester is a sanctuary city, we continue to see a large ICE presence within city limits, and collusion with local jails and other law enforcement. We need New York For All to ensure that every immigrant community across New York State is protected and safe. Our local police should not be working to tear families apart, but instead should be helping and serving our communities. Rochester is calling on the NYS Legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul to pass New York For All this year,” said Mary Lupien, Rochester City Council Vice President and Local Progress member.
“Local governments are on the frontlines in keeping our residents safe and building strong communities. Asking cities and counties to enforce federal immigration law is an unfunded mandate that further strains local public safety efforts,” said Gregory Young, Fulton County Supervisor and Local Progress member.
“Monroe County supports our immigrant neighbors, who contribute so much to our community. Like much of New York State, we are a diverse county – we are home to the city of Rochester as well as surrounding rural farmland. And while our immigrant neighbors may feel some sense of safety in the city, it is important that we pass New York For All to formalize this protection, and to ensure that our rural immigrant neighbors are not susceptible to local law enforcement colluding with ICE. New York For All is about safety, and in Monroe County we need New York State to step up and protect all of our neighbors regardless of their immigration status,” said Rachel Barnhart, Monroe County Legislator and Local Progress member.
“I strongly support the New York For All Act and call on our State Legislature and Governor Hochul to pass this bold and necessary measure to ensure that all New Yorkers regardless of their status can live fulfilling lives. ICE should never be allowed to invoke fear to individuals contributing to the economy, culture, and character of our communities throughout the state. For far too long, ICE has been weaponized in our communities by local and state officers throughout the state, it is time that we approach public safety differently and in ways that allow for access to a better quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Genesis Ramos, Orange County Legislator.
You can read more in the City & State article here.