Harlem Council Members Rodriquez, Mark-Viverito And Others Pass Immigration Law

September 6, 2017

The City Council Committee on Immigration, chaired by Carlos Menchaca, and Harlem Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ydanis Rodriquez and others reps responded quickly to the recent Trump Administration’s announcement signaling the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The committee passed two key pieces of legislation that would expand the role of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and create an inter-agency task force to support the most vulnerable immigrants living in New York City.

“In the face of hatred and xenophobia, New York stands tall as a model of resistance against policies that threaten our vital immigrant communities,” said Council Immigration Chair Carlos Menchaca. “The loss of DACA throws the lives of nearly one million undocumented immigrants who have only ever known this country into severe turmoil. In New York City today, we reaffirm that our undocumented neighbors are no less New Yorkers than anyone else who chooses to live here. These bills will expand the scope of MOIA’s great work, connecting immigrants to legal services, while establishing an inter-agency task-force to protect vulnerable populations such as victims of human trafficking, LGBTQI individuals and those formerly involved in the criminal justice system. We are showing the nation how to lead when it comes to protecting immigrantsand will not let up this fight.”

“In the midst of an ignominious federal administration, New York City is stepping up its efforts to protect our immigrant families,” said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst). “This legislation will strengthen our city’s historic commitment to immigrants by making it easier for these New Yorkers to access city programs. This joint effort also ensures that city agency staff are equipped to provide the culturally competent services immigrant families need and deserve. I am proud to work alongside Harlem Speaker Meissa Mark-Viverito (pictured), Immigration Committee Chairperson Menchaca and Council Member Rodriguez to make our city a safer, fairer and more welcoming place for all.”

“Immigrants are why our city, our state and our country are great,” said Council Member Rodriguez, himself an immigrant. “Our collective history is one crafted by immigrants who have tirelessly and often thanklessly worked to improve our nation, while seeking the opportunities our country has long provided. We in New York City will not allow a president hostile to immigrants to disrupt the lives of our residents without a fight. These bills are a reaffirmation of our long-time support for immigrants, regardless of status, and will serve to create additional resources for those suddenly under threat.”

Intro 1566, Sponsored by Council Members Dromm and Rodriguez, will significantly expand the role of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to account for the new policies coming out of Washington DC. The bill will enhance MOIA’s mission to:

  • Lead the City’s efforts to promote the welfare of immigrants, regardless of status;
    Work with the Civil Justice Coordinator to assess the legal service needs of immigrants;
  • Establish a state and federal affairs unit to follow changing federal laws and policies;
  • Consult with City agencies on the implementation of laws and policies designed to protect immigrants;
  • Consult with agencies on best practices for serving victims of crime and human trafficking; and
  • Report annually to the Council on its activities and the unique needs of the immigrant community.

Intro 1578, Sponsored by Council Member Menchaca and Dromm, will create an inter-agency task force, led by MOIA, responsible for coordinating city services for immigrants, particularly those of vulnerable populations such as victims of domestic violece and human trafficking, those formerly involved with the criminal justice system, LGBTQI individuals and minors. It will include representatives from over a dozen city agencies, to ensure that the services they provide are culturally fluent and sensitive to the issues immigrants in New York City face, including those with and without documentation.

9/6/2017 Committee on Immigration hearing video playback available after 24 hours here: http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/Calendar.aspx

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