The NY State Legislature passed a $153 billion budget on Friday, April 7th, after a week of delays. The budget included three important progressive actions:
Congressman Joe Crowley & Assemblymember Francisco Moya are holding an Immigration Town Hall.
When: Thursday, March 23rd at 6:00pm
Where: Saint Leo’s Catholic Academy, 104-19 49th Avenue, Corona, NY 11368
There will be a contingent from Indivisible Queens, Indivisible Sunnyside and SWAG. Daniel will also reach out to LIC Opposition Group, LIC Coalition and John Brown Party to see if they can send some people as well. Please join if you can make it!
Thanks to Virgil and Maggie for presenting on immigration policy and to Virgil and Pornpat for hosting. Meeting minutes and the presentation are available here.
Today’s action focuses on the new tactics being used to further accelerate the detainment and deportation of undocumented immigrants. This plan includes the hiring of 15,000 new ICE and Border Patrol agents, as well as the deputizing of local law enforcement to support deportation hearings. Most critically, the pool of immigrants targeted for detainment and deportation would be expanded from serious criminals (as was the case under President Obama) to “all removable aliens” – the ICE could arbitrarily detain not only children and families but DREAMers and green card holders as well. The Trump Administration’s crackdown also includes inhumane, punitive measures such as the prosecution of parents who pay smugglers to bring their children across the border.
There is an opportunity for governors across the country to take bold action against these policies and we need to make sure Governor Andrew M. Cuomo knows how the people of New York feel. He has the power to lobby the federal government and order state authorities to block federal immigration agents, he can refuse to provide state-level immigration data to the federal government, and he can (and should) shield undocumented immigrants, many of whom have been here since childhood and are valuable members of our communities, from harsh and inhumane practices.
CALL TO ACTION FOR FRIDAY: Call Governor Cuomo (518-474-8390) and tell him to protect New York’s immigrants!
Sample Script (make it your own):
Hi, my name is [Name] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP]. I’m calling to ask what steps Governor Cuomo is taking to protect our immigrant community from President Trump’s aggressive deportation tactics.
Has the Governor made a statement committing to protect our immigrant communities from federal immigration agents? Specifically, will the Governor guard our state’s data on immigrants from the federal government? Will the Governor refuse to provide local resources to support federal immigration raids, and encourage local law enforcement agencies not to cooperate with the ICE?
[IF YES TO ALL]: Please tell the governor that I thank him for standing up for New York’s immigrants, and I expect him to continue to resist Trump’s xenophobic agenda. Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.
[VOICEMAIL, OR IF NO TO ANY]: I urge the governor to support and protect the immigrant communities in New York, through these and any other possible means. Most undocumented immigrants are productive and valuable people who make our country a better place. I demand Andrew M. Cuomo to shield them from the xenophobic Trump agenda. Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.
Liz volunteers with the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR) and highly recommends them if you are looking for a small, local organization to support.
NMCIR consists of a team of 7 employees (plus volunteers) in northern Manhattan that helps the undocumented, immigrant, and refugee community with legal paperwork related to citizenship for themselves and their families. They also offer English and civics classes, educate the community about citizenship scams, advocate for immigration reform, and run voter registration drives. They do an enormous amount of phenomenal work with pitifully scant resources and they’ve been swamped for their entire existence and especially since the election.
Local, small, community-based organizations (CBOs) are desperately in need of funding at this time and a dollar goes a lot further for them than it does for large nationwide organizations like the ACLU or Planned Parenthood (also worthy organizations). CBOs are also 1) better attuned to the specific needs of their communities and 2) frequently overlooked when people consider charitable giving, since they lack the resources or national standing to advertise themselves. If you’re able to give a monthly or one-time donation, please consider the NMCIR or an organization like it: nmcir.org/donate
Liz is also planning a pub quiz fundraiser for them and is looking for members who could help with finding a venue and and quiz host. Please contact her if you have any ideas!
Refugees Welcome is an effort to bring folks from refugee and non-refugee backgrounds around a table to break bread and break barriers.
Joyce would like to organize a Refugees Welcome potluck in Queens in the next few weeks. Please contact her if you are interested in helping with planning, cooking, and/or hosting.