Order 34 Generates Controversy
By Maxy Sosa
"The consequences that Executive Order 34, passed
by Mayor Michel Bloomberg, will have on our communities cannot be spoken of without
signaling the responsibility that the Patriot Act One, signed by President George
W. Bush, has over it", said Councilmember Margarita Lopez while being questioned
on what has become one of the most controversial measures in the city of New York.
Yesterday, on the steps of City Hall, a group of Councilmembers, headed by
Hiram Monserrate, Bill Perkins and Miguel Martinez, were met by community activists
including Moises Perez, of Alianza Dominicana (Dominican Alliance), Margie McHugh,
Representative of the Coalition of Immigrants of New York, members of the 32 sindicates
BJ and SEIU, the Arab-American Anti Discrimination Committee, the Arab-American
Family Support Center, the Project for the Wellbeing of Immigrant Children, the
Legal Aid Society, Make the Road by Walking, as well as Anthony Miranda of the
Association of Latino Police. They met to denounce the new politics of the
Bloomberg administration (referring to Executive Order 34) which will corrode
the ability of immigrants to accede to the citys social services for fear
that their legal status will be revealed to the federal authorities.
of those who did not participate in the event was Councilmember Margarita Lopez,
who, when questioned about her absence, responded: Our city needs to understand
that here in the United States they have passed the Patriot Act One at the federal
level, and this patriot act has changed all the rules of the game in relation
to immigrants, putting out constitution in danger. Due to this, the patriot act
one puts undocumented immigrants, of all the people that live in the United States,
Lopez added: Understanding this when the Mayor Bloomberg
leaves with the Executive Order 34 we therefore have to put this Order in perspective
with the Patriot Act one and that which the mayor is doing, to me seems, is to
try to create the best protection possible under the existing circumstances.
suggested that all the parties involved in this theme should be seated to
have a sensible dialogue in order to be able to understand the real consequences
that this will have, not only on immigrants, rather on [North] American citizens
that do not want to hurt an immigrant but the Patriot Act has put them in a situation
in which our nation has to feel ashamed of where it has taken us."
Councilmember assured people that they should not be afraid to take their children
to school, to a hospital, or to report crime for fear that the information they
provide be referred to the federal authorities and used to implicate them.
office of the Mayor Michael Bloomberg responded to the press conference summoned
by the Councilmembers and community activists in a press release in which he signaled
that the Order instructs the city workers not to ask people soliciting their
services about immigration status unless the law requires it, or if the information
is necessary to a criminal investigation. Bloomberg closed his message saying:
It is lamentable that those who do not understand the Executive Order are
doing so much damage to the communities they represent, propagating the fear when
they say that they will be punished for soliciting social or medical services.
from Spanish by Charlotte Triggs.
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