Council Speaker Christine Quinn introduced legislation today that would prohibit New York Citys department of corrections from subsidizing the work of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Make the Road New York issued this statement supporting the move:
The announcement by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Mark-Viverito and Daniel Dromm that the New York City Council will prohibit New York Citys Department of Corrections from subsidizing and supporting the deportation of thousands of non-criminal New Yorkers each year is fantastic news.
Every day New York City benefits from the energy, initiative and hard-work of immigrants. In a city where forty percent of all New Yorkers are immigrants, and for the City to do its job, New York City government must not burn bridges to immigrant communities. Today, New York City is taking a clear stand that it refuses to be in the business of tearing apart of immigrant families and subsidizing the deportation of non-criminal New Yorkers.
Quinns legislation follows Gov. Andrew Cuomos decision to pull out of the federal Secure Communities Program and the US governments insistence that New York legally must take part in the program.
Make the Road New York released statements of support for Quinns legislation from a number of Democratic legislators:
Speaker Quinns proposal will ensure that the focus is where it should be: On those the Obama administration has said it would focus on in Immigration Enforcement. state Senator Jose R. Peralta. I applaud Speaker Quinn and urge her City Council colleagues to pass this bill.
I applaud Speaker Quinn for her leadership on making the city of New York a safer city for immigrants who call it home. We cannot continue to have immigration officials in Rikers and in our jails working with local law enforcement to identify and deport any and all immigrants detained there even those who are found innocent of any crime. I applaud this effort to ensure that immigrant New Yorkers feel they are safe and that cooperating with local police is in everyones best interest to ensure the safety of our communities, said State Senator Gustavo Rivera.
I am happy that Speaker Quinn is taking action on this important issue saving the City up to $50 million a year while also protecting immigrants with no prior criminal record from unfair, lengthy detention periods. This proposal is tough on crime too, making sure that cooperation does take place in other cases. said Assemblyman Francisco Moya. Those who are innocent will be treated fairly regardless of their immigration status, but this proposal also allows for the necessary cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
Assemblywoman Grace Meng stated, I commend Council Speaker Christine Quinns bill to create a detainer discretion policy. Speaker Quinns actions are a strong and confident indication that our great city will not stand for collaborations between agencies that target immigrant communities. In my district, one of the largest and most common issues that we have seen are families who are torn apart by immigration issues. I am fully committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in government to promote policies that actually make our communities more secure, not waste government resources in deporting immigrants. I also want to thank Make the Road NY for all its hard working in leading this campaign to withdraw ICE from Rikers Island.
I applaud Make the Road for its dedication and tenacity in addressing this matter and congratulate them on achieving this important step in ensuring that New York residents are treated justly and fairly regardless of immigration status. I stand firmly with Make the Road and support their worthwhile mission, said Assemblyman Matthew Titone.
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