Immigrant Rights Advocates & Elected Officials Rally to Keep NY Families Together, Pass New York For All Act

Immigrant Rights Advocates & Elected Officials Rally to Keep NY Families Together, Pass New York For All Act

Photo by Oscar B. Castillo

The New York for All Act prohibits local law enforcement and state agencies from colluding with federal immigration authorities

The livestream is here. Photos and videos are hereHigh-res photos by Oscar B. Castillo are here.

New York—On Thursday, June 1 the New York For All Coalition, elected officials, immigrant rights advocates, allies and impacted community members rallied and held a press conference at the Capitol’s Million Dollar Staircase for the New York For All Act (S987 Gounardes / A5686 Reyes).

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New York is safer when all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, are able to go to school, receive health care, or call 911 when there is an emergency. But across New York State, a patchwork of local policies means that in many communities, an immigrant going about their daily lives could be ripped away from their families for something as benign as a traffic stop. The New York for All Act would prohibit local law enforcement and state agencies from conspiring with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and prevent New Yorkers’ tax dollars from being used for cruel federal immigration enforcement.

The New York For All Act has 57 co-sponsors in the Assembly, and 32 co-sponsors in the Senate.

Senator Andrew Gounardes, District 22, said: “We have let state and city authorities collude with ICE and CBP for far too long. We’ve seen the harm it causes: parents too afraid to go to parent-teacher conferences; workers too afraid to file necessary labor violations; families being split apart. We know it doesn’t work — and that we need New York For All now more than ever. I’m proud to sponsor this bill in the Senate, and I will continue fighting to make it law.”

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“All New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, must be able to live their lives openly and without fear,” said Assemblymember Tony Simone, District 75. “Many undocumented immigrants must constantly look over their shoulder, worried that ICE will tear them from their families. The New York for All Act ensures that our state will remain a safe haven. The protections in NY4All will make our communities safer, for everyone.”

Assemblymember Latrice Walker, District 55 said: “Members of our immigrant communities deserve to live, work and seek medical care without the fear of being snatched off the streets by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents – especially when federal agents are acting on information from local authorities. I am proud to co-sponsor the New York For All Act, which would prohibit local and state law enforcement from conspiring with ICE or U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Immigrants deserve an opportunity to seek citizenship without enduring some of the harsh, traumatizing and often covert tactics used by federal agencies.”

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition said: “Every immigrant New Yorker deserves to live without the fear that attending to everyday tasks like going to the grocery store or seeking medical care for their child may result in separation from their families.The New York For All Act would provide the long overdue safety and protection immigrant New Yorkers need to keep their families stable and their communities strong. The bill would bar local law enforcement and state agencies from colluding with ICE and CBP, and ensure our local tax dollars are not appropriated to enforce ICE’s cruel anti-immigrant agenda. It is imperative that the NYS Legislature pass the New York for All Act this year, and that Governor Kathy Hochul signs it into law. Our communities can’t wait any longer.”

“It is appalling that the legislature has yet to pass The New York For All Act, and we are running out of time for the State to take action this session to end collusion with ICE,” said Rosa Cohen-Cruz, Policy Director of the Immigration Practice at The Bronx Defenders. “Every New Yorker deserves the freedom to grow, thrive, and support their families, but for too long, the State’s law enforcement agencies have waged a terror campaign against immigrant New Yorkers, by cooperating with ICE to harass, frighten, and separate them. The time is now to pass The New York for All Act and declare once and for all that we will not support ICE’s detention, harassment, and violence against immigrant New Yorkers.”

“New York is shamefully overdue in establishing key protections for immigrant New Yorkers who currently fear local and state agencies that put them at risk by sharing their information and transferring them to ICE’s custody. It is indefensible that we continue to accept local entanglement with ICE, which can permanently separate immigrant New Yorkers from their families and communities,” said Yasmine Farhang, Director of Advocacy with the Immigrant Defense Project. “As we have seen time and time again, failing to pass this legislation enables racism, harassment and threats by local and state actors. Enough is enough. We call on the legislature to pass the New York for All Act this year!”

“No one should live in fear that dropping kids off at school or running errands may tear you from family and loved ones,” said Zach Ahmad, Senior Policy Counsel at the New York Civil Liberties Union. “By prohibiting collusion between ICE & local law enforcement, New York For All offers immigrants the chance to lead open lives, provide for their families, and access healthcare — free from harassment or intimidation. As we welcome more immigrants to New York, it’s past time that Albany took action to truly protect our neighbors by passing New York For All.”

“Immigration enforcement and detention cause lasting instability and harm that radiate through communities. Passing the New York for All Act will limit the number of people who face these risks, promoting strength and stability in immigrant communities,” said Shayna Kessler, State Advocacy Manager for the Vera Institute of Justice’s Advancing Universal Representation Initiative. “New York for All will advance our state’s leadership in support of immigrant communities, ensuring that New York’s resources cannot be used for federal immigration enforcement that separates families and destabilizes communities. This legislation will alleviate the fear and uncertainty immigrant families face and ensure that more families remain united and strong.”


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