immigration Tag All blog entries tagged as immigration Sat, 12 Jul 2014 21:22:43 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Today's Report: Benefits Of Extending Tuition Benefits To Undocumented Immigrants read the full report)

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Bloomberg Approves Relaxed Immigration Enforcement

As expected, Mayor Bloomberg signed off on two bills that will limit the city's cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

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“The city values the contributions of immigrants,” Bloomberg said during today’s signing, “and these bills are part of the administration’s continual effort to balance protecting public safety and national security with ensuring that New York is the most immigrant-friendly city in the world.”

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Bloomberg said that the bills were a direct response to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Secure Communities program with the New York Police Department. The federal mandate requires that city law enforcement agencies send suspects’ fingerprints to the Department of Homeland Security, much like a similar program called the Criminal Alien Program linked the Department of Correction with federal authorities.

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The City Council responded to the latter with a bill requiring the DOC’s non-enforcement of the policy in cases where a suspect has either no criminal history or charges and who don’t pose a danger to the community. Bloomberg signed that bill in 2012, and strengthened it with his signature today. The same guidelines for DOC will now also apply to the police department.

Advocates view the bills’ ratification as equally important to the original legislation from 2011, which supporters say prevented 267 deportations by DOC.

“Since then, the law has stopped more than 200 deportations — saving money for the city and helping build trust between the immigrant communities and local authorities,” said Make the Road member Tania Gordillo in Spanish during the signing ceremony. “Now, this law will do more of the same and is another step toward a city just and humane for everyone.

The bills didn’t make it to Bloomberg’s desk without dissent. Seven council members voted against the legislation in late February. Among those who disagreed with the laws was Democratic Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. of Queens.

“I support comprehensive immigration reform,” Vallone told the Times Ledger in early March, “but allowing people charged with crimes to remain in this country is not part of it.”

]]> (Administrator) City Mon, 18 Mar 2013 21:56:17 +0000
Local Pols Come Out In Support of Immigration Equality

Elected representatives from both the city and federal level took to a small stage in Manhattan's West Village to demand equality for undocumented lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrants.

Democratic U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velázquez, both primarily based in Brooklyn, stopped by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center to demand that the federal government give LGBT couples the same protections as heterosexuals.

They were joined by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu, as well as Council members Daniel Dromm, Jimmy Van Bramer, Letitia James and Melissa Mark-Viverito.

"While there remains a bumpy road ahead," Velázquez said, "it has become clear that the political stars are aligning in favor of finally addressing this critical social justice issue."

Velázquez also saluted Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, which elicited a wave of applause from the audience. Portman announced his support on Friday for gay marriage after he revealed his son is gay. Velázquez said that while she and Portman don't agree on many issues, Republicans like Portman could prove instrumental to recognizing LGBT immigrants during Senate discussions on reform.

While the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" continues to mull over a bill that would make both parties happy, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told reporters in late February that provisions for same-sex couples did not come up during a meeting with President Barack Obama. A study from UCLA Law School's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Law and Public Policy recently announced that an estimated 267,000 LGBT-identified individuals, or about 2.7 percent, live among the country's adult illegal immigrant population.

Organizers from Make the Road New York and Immigration Equality introduced the politicians and crowd to residents affected by the current immigration policy.

One same-sex couple, Angelica and Veronica, told the audience that they would have to move out of the country barring any changes to the law. Veronica, a Mexican citizen, said that her status is running out and that her inability to stay in the country doesn't make sense when her partner is here legally. Both couples declined to provide their last names.

"If she were 'Angel,' I would have a green card now," Veronica said.

]]> (Administrator) Civil Rights Mon, 18 Mar 2013 20:44:33 +0000