Immigrant Rights Coalition Praises Harlem Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

A coalition of immigrant rights, community based organizations and leaders will gather on Friday morning to praise NYC Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s recent decision to bolster pro-family policies in how the City administers its $26 million immigrant defense program.

The Speaker’s move comes after unsuccessful attempts by Mayor Bill de Blasio to restrict continued legal assistance from immigrants who have committed any one of the 170 crimes for which the City presently cooperates with immigration enforcement (ICE).

“Studies and an investigation by New York City have already shown that Mayor de Blasio’s policy of over policing in our neighborhoods does nothing for crime prevention said Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York. “Broken Windows must end because it is ripping apart brown homes all over this city. It is shameful that the Mayor would take us backwards by taking away legal defense from immigrants who come into contact with law enforcement.”

“This week we all saw Speaker Viverito show what a legislator can do to protect all immigrants in the budget process,” said Mazeda Uddin of South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship and Training. “I am asking all friends of immigrants to join us in making clear to the Mayor that we will no longer tolerate policies that will cause deportation of any section of our communities. We must always remember that this unjust system has already broken thousands of homes simply because they could not get a lawyer.”

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