New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz along with a panel of advocates from local organizations and businesses spoke at the New Yorkers for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Town Hall meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The discussion was over the controversial immigration reform bill.
If the Senate passes this bill, it would give illegal immigrants an opportunity to apply for citizenship.
“Our country so much need our immigrant community and we need to ensure that there is a pathway to citizenship,” said Borough President Marty Markowitz.
The bill would also allow low-skilled immigrant workers entry into the country based on businesses’ labor needs. However, it wouldn’t acknowledge Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender (LGBT) married couples to sponsor their spouses for green cards.
“We want a good bill and a good bill is a bill that will protect all families,” said Rachel Tiven from Immigration Equality.
Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of the Arab American Association expressed concern over racial, cultural, and religious profiling.
“Profiling is never based on reality but based on perception. We want to make sure, that we understand that this bill represents our country in it’s entirely, this is a global bill. Immigration is an issue that affects all of us.”
Speaker Christine Quinn commends members of the Council and Senator Chuck Schumer, for their efforts to see this bill passed.
“As this debate moves forward to the point where we’re victorious, we will hear people on the other side that do and say things that are incredibly offensive to immigrants, offensive to all of us. We must all remain united…we need to deepen our commitment to each other as a city. When any one of us attack, we are all attacked.”
The following Council members attended the meeting: Daniel Dromm, Mathieu Eugene, Sara M. Gonzalez, Letitia James, Brad Lander, Stephen Levin, Darlene Mealy, Domenic Recchia, Diana Reyna, Albert Vann, and Jumaane Williams.
NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
Lisa Sarsour, Arab American Association of New York
Rachel Tiven, Immigration Equality
Bishop Orlando Findlayter, Senior Pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship
Otoniel Figueroa-Duran, 32BJ SEU
Paul Seres, New York City Hospitality Alliance
Dr. Roy A. Hastick, Caribbean American Chamber Of Commerce, and Industry
Edgar Andrade, Small Business United, Make the Road New York
Jojo Annobil, the Legal Aid Society
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